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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-01 00:05:30

1266

8th October 2016

Issue Number 1266 (Items 1911 - 2005 & MR 189 - MR 201) (E-BLN 42 PAGES) 8 Oct 2016

BRANCH LINE NEWS

Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society (founded 1955)
Website: www.branchline.org.uk

Membership Enquiries: [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Ave., Epsom, Surrey, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677

British Isles news from members, an international section is also available.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or the Society.

BLN 1267 is dated 22 October all contSroibciuettyio. ns must be received by 12 October

Date Event Details BLN Lead Status

Fri 7/10/16 The Cliffe Hopper loco-hauled tour (Crewe 08.35-16.34) 1262 KA OPEN

Fri 14/10/16 09.18/10.22 West Midlands service train tracker 1265 KA OPEN

Sun 23/10/16 Crich Tramway Village 10.15 second rare track visit  1264 JC OPEN

Sun 23/10/16 Goodluck Mine Tram 15.00 tramway trips - 11" gauge 1265 JC OPEN

Fri 4/11/16 Epping Ongar Railway 08.30 Very comprehensive tour 1257 DG OPEN

Sat 5/11/16 East Kent Railway/AGM 08.30 Very comprehensive tour 1257 DG OPEN

Sat 5/11/16 BLS 2016 AGM, 12.00 to 15.00, Shepherdswell Village Hall 1265 TW *OPEN*

Sat 5/11/16 Evening presentation by Ian Mortimer with interval buffet 1257 DG OPEN

Sun 6/11/16 Kent & East Sussex Rly 08.30 Extensive railtour 1257 DG OPEN

Sat 19/11/16 Fisherman's Friend Explorer 10.30 Blackpool Heritage Trams 1265 KA OPEN

Sun 20/11/16 *NEW* Penrhyn Railway 11.00 Comprehensive railtour 1266 JC *OPEN*

Sun 11/12/16 The Rylstone Cowboy 11.50 & 14.50 (option 'C' is full) 1265 KA OPEN

Mon 26/12/16 Boxing Day 10.00 private 10¼" railway in Worcestershire 1261 PS OPEN

Sat 7/1/2017 Scunthorpe Steel Works (09.30 - dark) Extensive railtour 1265 PS 92% FULL.

Sat 14/1/2017 Mainline railtour in the Southeast - save the date TBA TBA Claimed
To Be Advised Jordan Hejaz Railway Full details and date pending 1250 IS Notify
19-21/5/2017 Annual long weekend - Republic of Ireland 'mixed' gauges 1265 KA Notify

DG-Darren Garnon, IS-Iain Scotchman, JC-John Cameron, KA-Kev Adlam, PS-Paul Stewart, TW-Tim Wallis.

1911] 'Cliffe Hopper', Fri 7 Oct: Crewe 08.35/16.34, Stoke 09.08/16.07. Includes Rugeley Power
Station, Cliffe Vale and 'Dudley Reversing' branches, the new Stafford Goods Line & Norton Bridge
East Chord. The very rare Aldridge trailing crossover has been added. Pay on the day is available.

1912] Crich Tramway Village DE4 5DP, Sun 23 Oct, 10.15-13.30 (approx): (MR page 32) (SK345549).
After our successful 31 Mar visit (report BLN 1255.757) to this friendly location, a more extensive track
tour is now available. Up to 11 depot roads, the depot crossover both ways; POSSIBLE use of the
traverser and the depot centre siding. Participants will then be able to look round the museum, depot
and other attractions and ride on the service trams for the rest of the day. The Café and pub will be
open. £21 Members; (£20 Members over 60); £17 accompanied child; £26 non-members,
cheques/CPAs with email address or SAE to John Cameron back page. Please indicate if you can help
with lifts or if you need one. TO FOLLOW: 15.00 Rides on the 11" gauge Goodluck Mine Tram (no
public running) also in Derbyshire (BLN 1265.1801). [email protected] 07581178759.

[BLN 1266] ABOVE: The mixed (very broad) gauge traverser at Crich. (Tony Waddington)
BELOW: Some of the many depot roads we are due to cover. (Richard Lomas)

X.154] BLS AGM, Sat 5 Nov 15.00: The Village Hall, Cox Hill, Shepherdswell, Dover, CT15 7NN, near
the mainline station and East Kent Railway. AGM details were at (BLN 1265.1795) - a reminder that
anyone who is booked on the fixtures who wishes to attend the AGM (it is not compulsory!) needs
to notify the General Secretary, Tim Wallis please (per back page) and is not automatically booked!

[BLN 1266]

1913] Penrhyn Quarry Railway, Sun 20 Nov, 11.00: Road signed locally off the A5 then B4409 at Felin
Fawr, Coed-y-parc, Bethesda, near Bangor LL57 4YS, (SH615664). A comprehensive visit to this now 2ft
gauge 400yd end to end railway. Part on the former 1801 Penrhyn Railway and based at its former
workshops and foundry http://goo.gl/3ZI4vO previously (on a different alignment) the 1798
Llandegai Tramway. The 1'11" gauge six mile long railway was built to transport slate from Lord
Penrhyn's Bethesda Slate quarries to Port Penrhyn, west of Bangor. It was one of the oldest narrow
gauge railways in the world, CG 24 Jul 1962 and was lifted in 1965 when the track was sold to the
Ffestiniog Railway. In 2012, the first section was restored by Penrhyn Quarries Ltd and has been
expanded; further sections are planned. £14 members, £21 non-members, cheques/CPAs with email
address or SAE (two for an acknowledgement) to John Cameron, per back page. Please indicate if you
require or are able to provide a lift. Any queries to [email protected] 07581178759.

1914] Rylstone Cowboy, Sun 11 Dec: UPDATE: Option 'C' which includes the Class 156 Penistone Line
Partnership trips from Huddersfield is now fully booked but there are places available on options 'A'
and 'B' at 11.50 and 14.50 from Skipton to Rylstone which return to Skipton at 14.18 and 17.18,
(provisional times), making a leisurely day out. To clarify, both of these two trips along this seven-mile
freight branch include the Skipton main line connection (using P4) and there will be the now unusual
sight of the single locomotive running round at both ends of the trip. Full details were in the booking
form with BLN 1265 (electronic subscribers as a download to print) and are available on our website.

1915] Help Wanted: At its 28 Aug Crewe meeting, your Committee agreed to fund a new revamped
and updated BLS website. The many benefits will include online membership payments/renewals,
railtour and fixture bookings, possibly sales. The intention is to use a commercial organisation but
we are looking for a member/s with website knowledge to lead. Please email Tim Wallis to discuss.

1266 HEAD LINES
1916] Manchester Metrolink, Queens Road: (BLN 1200.4) Amendment; the new resited stop, the first
north of Victoria on the Bury line, opened for staff use only 11 Nov 2013, OP (public use) 16 Dec 2013.
The previous staff halt, 70m south, closed after service 10 Nov 2013 and was demolished by the 15th.

1917] Appleby (excl) - Lazonby & Kirkoswald (incl): (BLN 1259.1213) Northern Rail has kindly advised
that the first ECS runs from Appleby north and return were on 18 Apr 2016 for 'operational knowledge
purposes' (TCP at 06.14 on 9 Feb 2016 due to the Eden Brows landslip); they initially ran 'as required'.

1918] Dudley, 'Black Country Living Museum' Tramway, Museum Entrance - Museum Village: TCP
'early' Jul 2016 (for 'essential tram maintenance'); does anyone have a date for last running?

1919] Farington Jn, Lancashire Enterprises (also known as Leyland DAF) Sidings: (BLN 1264.1743)
(18m 63ch) From 21 Aug 2016 brought back into use as a temporary DMU stabling facility for Arriva
Northern trains. No signalling or other infrastructure changes are associated with this change of use.

1920] Metrolink, Broadway - Harbour City stops (both excl), direct; third side of triangle avoiding
MediaCityUK: Amending (BLN 1265.1811) ROP Tue 30 Aug (not Mon 8 Aug) 2016 after TCP since 28
Jun 2015. Metrolink's website has now been updated. Eccles (to Ashton-under-Lyne) and MediaCityUK
(to Piccadilly) services are separate except early morning and in the evening (SuX) and all day Sundays.
These are normally the only time that there is a direct MediaCityUK to/from Broadway/Eccles service.

1921] Madeley Jn (149m 41ch) - Madeley Chord Jn - Madeley Reversing Siding - Silverdale Branch:
(BLNs 1198.1648 & 1199.1781) Temporarily OOU; extended from 12 Sep 2016 until 30 Apr 2018. The
Sectional Appendix diagram is now endorsed to that effect (but still fails to note that that there is no
junction with the Down Slow). The crossover and connection to the branch were destroyed by a
derailment on 12 Jun 2007 and plain lined. The trailing crossover was reinstated by 18 Nov 2013 but
the expected aggregate traffic failed to materialise. Beyond 4m 01ch east of the former Silverdale
Colliery site to end of line at 3m 27ch is permanently OOU (miles from Cockshute Jn, Stoke-on-Trent).

BLN 1266.1922] Shipley South Junction - Crossley Evans Scrapyard: (BLN 1255.770) Reported to be
disconnected by 30 Sep 2016; another report is that the line is still available but the scrap cubes are
coming out by road. Does anyone have any further information or date of the last train (latterly they
were run by DC Rail), please? Some pictures https://goo.gl/elQkqd (click on pictures to enlarge).

1923] Neath & Brecon Jn - Onllwyn 'Washery'/Open Cast Disposal Point: (BLN 1265.1815) ROG was
expected Tue 4 Oct 2016 (after TCG since 14 Sep due to a landslip at 7m 54ch). Coal for Coal Products
Ltd. Immingham Briquetting Works generally runs Tuesday and/or Thursdays. Coal to Scunthorpe steel
works used to run on Saturdays but trains have not actually operated in 2016.

1924] Cleethorpes, Pleasure Island Railway: Kings Road, DN35 OPL https://goo.gl/cjGsI9 (MR p20),
(TA323066) 0844 5040104. The park, a 1½-mile walk south along the coast from Cleethorpes

station, (can be partly done on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, MR p20), closes at the end of

season; the final day is 29 Oct (fireworks). It has a substantial 800yd long, 2ft gauge railway circuit

which ran specially during Society visits to the area on 15 Sep 2015. This is your last chance to do it!

1925] Hamworthy Jn - Hamworthy Quay: (BLN 1191.1144) ROG (stone traffic) is expected, possibly in
November after CG since last inward stone train on 26 July 2012 (the terminal closed 28 Sep 2012).

1926] Wilton North Jn (132m 25ch) - Quidhampton Siding (132m 54ch): ROG anticipated, possibly in
Nov 2016, inward waste for tipping in the large pit. (CG after the last outward Calcium Carbonate tanks
30 Mar 2009; the final empty wagons were removed by rail after cleaning 14 Oct 2009.) HM the Queen
red-penned the line (part of the GWR Westbury to Salisbury passenger line until 29 Oct 1973) by Royal
Train, overnight on 1-2 May 2012. A BR tour on 22 Mar 1986 seems to have been the last 'public' one.

1927] Midland Metro, Snow Hill stop: Expected to be renamed 'St Chads' in Jan 2017 due to
passenger confusion over interchange with the NR station (Bull Street is the suggested interchange).

1928] Birkenhead North (excl) - Liverpool Loop - Birkenhead Central (excl) and Birkenhead Park,
Conway Park, Birkenhead Hamilton Square, James Street stations and Moorfields (P3), Liverpool
Lime Street (deep level) & Liverpool Central (P3): TCP Tue 3 Jan to Sun 12 Feb 2017, Phase 1 loop line
renewal work; also TCP Tue 30 May to Sun 18 Jun 2017 Phase 3 work. All dates are inclusive.

1929] James Street (excl) - Liverpool Loop - James Street and Moorfields (P3), Liverpool Lime Street
(deep level) & Liverpool Central (P3) TCP Mon 13 Feb to Mon 29 May, Phase 2 work. At weekends the
closure generally extends to Birkenhead North and Birkenhead Hamilton Square (both exclusive).

1930] Saltney Jn - Wrexham General (excl): TCP/TCA is due 24 Mar to 1 Apr 2017 for commissioning of
the redoubled section; 5m 38ch of new Up line from Saltney Jn (212m 6ch) - Rossett Jn (206m 48ch).

1931] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered

BLN Start (incl) End (incl) Location (exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]

1255.783 Mon 12 Sep Fri 21 Oct (Filton Abbey Wood/Bristol Parkway) - (Severn Tunnel Junction)

1265.1817 Sat 22 Oct Sun 30 Oct * Fareham (no trains)-(Swanwick)/(Eastleigh)/(Hilsea)/(Havant)

1261.1388 Sun 11 Sep Sun 23 Oct *(Kettering) - Corby - (Oakham)

1264.1706 Tue 25 Oct Sun 6 Nov *(Barnt Green) - (Droitwich Spa) / Abbotswood Jn

1255.784 Thu 3 Nov 22 Nov (Antrim) - Londonderry and Coleraine - Portrush branch

1264.1703 Mon 12 Sep End Nov Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway, Manuel station - 'High Bridge'

1198.1659 15 Feb 2013 12 Dec (Oxford Parkway) - (Oxford) ROP with new timetable

1261.1389 Sat 24 Dec Thur 29 Dec London Paddington - (Slough)

1261.1390 Sat 24 Dec Mon 2 Jan (Liverpool Street) - (Ingatestone) and Shenfield - (Billericay)

1257.979 Sat 7 May Feb 2017 Tottenham: South Jn - East Jn & West Jn - Seven Sisters Jn

1253.554/5 Sat 4 June Feb 2017 (Barking) - South Tottenham - (Gospel Oak from 24 Sep)

1251.334 9 Feb 2016 Mar 2017? (Carlisle) - (Armathwaite); to end March 2017 (provisional)

1222.1799 20 Dec 2014 Jan 2018 (London Blackfriars) - (London Bridge) Thameslink work

1222.1799 20 Dec 2014 Jan 2018 (London Bridge), Spa Road - Bricklayers Arms Jn

[BLN 1266]
1932] FIXTURES REPORTS, Northern Ireland Long Weekend Part 3 - Day 3, Sun 22 May: Meeting at
Belfast Central, the 09.00 'Enterprise' service with Loco 228 and a recently refurbished rake of stock
took participants to Dundalk, unusually for the 'Enterprise' stopping at Lisburn, where four of the
ex-Gatwick Express coaches with the generator coach were seen. Portadown P2 (the middle one) and
like P1 reversible, was reached via the facing crossover just north of the station followed by the south
trailing crossover on departure, a move enjoyed by all. This was to bypass the last train of the previous
night (Saturday) stabled in P1; it departs to Belfast over the north trailing crossover at 09.45.

The line to Poyntzpass is very undulating and scenic. Newry, a very simplistic modern station, is
approached over the very impressive Craigmore viaduct. At Dundalk the interesting platform railway
museum was opened up specially for our group. The disused Dundalk Central signal cabin (BELOW -
Angus McDougall) could also be seen with all its fittings, although in one corner was a stage for the
signaller to see a road crossing gate capstan but there is no road in sight! (It was moved here when it
closed on 23 May 1996.) The other four ex-Gatwick Express coaches were here and, as at Lisburn, have
acquired graffiti. All are owned by the RPSI now but, due to space constraints, are still stored where
they were retired from service some years ago. Return from Dundalk was on the 10.56 'Enterprise' to
Belfast Central. The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) - GNR(I), introduced the service on 11 Aug 1947
as the 'Enterprise Express' in an attempt to compete with air and road transport, particularly for
business travel. Customs checks (no longer carried out of course) were limited to the Belfast and
Dublin terminals to reduce journey times and making the trains non-stop; advance booking was
available. Apparently the name comes from 'the enterprising approach' that the GNR(I) took to make
journeys more convenient for passengers. In Oct 1950 the service was extended past Dublin to Cork,
but this was unsuccessful and ceased in Sep 1953 (the 6½ hour journey time may have been a factor!).

[BLN 1266]
Back to 2016 at Belfast Central it was off by minibus to the 7¼" gauge Carnfunock Miniature Railway
(MR p26) by the coast near Larne where a 6w Petrol Hydraulic took us round the 490yd figure of eight
with five sit astride bogie coaches covering all the track. (ABOVE: Approaching the 'tunnel'; the point
for the reverse loop circuit is just in front - trains automatically alternate in direction round this loop
following the way the points have been set by the previous trip).

The final railway of the weekend was the 3ft gauge Giant's Causeway & Bushmills Railway (MR p26),
parking at the inland Bushmills terminus the wooden platform is rather forlorn. As it was the 'low
season' the relatively new Severn Lamb built replica tram set had been shortened from three trailers
and a power car to two trailers and was not busy. The two-mile trip is very cautious at times especially

passing the now disused passing
loop. There are great sea views
(LEFT; press release.); Giant's
Causeway has a very respectable
station building and engine shed
which the group was allowed to look
round. Stored were two steam locos
and the operational diesel. All
rolling stock was transferred here
on closure of Shanes Castle Railway
at the end of the 1994 season. Of
note was steam locomotive No3
Shane, previously owned and
operated by Bord Na Mona as LM
45.

A very enjoyable few days with great company, food (when there was time!) and an odd drink or two.
The thank you list is extensive, including the railways visited even in some extreme weather. NIR for
help and support; reserving seats, waiving the iLink Card initial cost and for the goodie bags! Also to
member Jonathan Condell for his support and local knowledge, Darren Garnon for stepping in at the
last minute to drive, Lee Nash another driver and Kev Adlam (who drove and did very many other
things as usual); without him this and many other BLS fixtures would simply not take place.

ABOVE: The 'Down spur' north of West Ruislip (the headshunt for the LU Depot line) is being extended,
the 'Wycombe Wanderer' made reasonable progress to the end of line. Main lines are right. (Kev Adlam)

BLN 1266.1933] The Day The BLS Went 'Wycombe Wandering' Sat 13 Aug: When two proactive
organisations come together, anything seems possible. This was again proved by Chiltern Railways and
the BLS when 138 odd (?) members travelled on the Wycombe Wanderer. For many it was a Class 68
powered arrival at Marylebone on the 07.10 from Kidderminster (or intermediately). For some, the
day began earlier than most on the selected unit for the bash, 165029, when it headed up to London
on the 09.13 from Aylesbury Vale Parkway to Marylebone. The author was amazed when boarding at
Rickmansworth to discover a BLS steward going through with a rubbish bag already! Attention to
detail really can make all the difference. As an aside, he (but not any disabled members!) was pleased
to see Chiltern allocate an un-refurbished 165; they have been receiving a C6 refresh to fit a disabled
toilet, inter alia. BELOW: 'Wycombe Wanderer' tour moves and mileages with thanks to Jim Sellens.

FROM TO Miles
West Ruislip Up Siding No2
London Marylebone P6 South Ruislip P3 13m 46ch
West Ruislip Up Siding No2 West Ruislip Down Spur 2m 07ch
South Ruislip P3 West Ruislip LUL Depot Connecting Line . 2m 07ch
West Ruislip Down Spur West Ruislip Down Spur 0m 44ch
West Ruislip LUL Depot Connecting Line. West Ruislip P3 0m 36ch
West Ruislip Down Spur High Wycombe P1 (end of line) 0m 16ch
West Ruislip P3 High Wycombe Engineers' Siding 14m 41ch
High Wycombe P1 (end of line) High Wycombe P1 (3-Car Stop Board) 0m 23ch
High Wycombe Engineers' Siding 0m 20ch
High Wycombe P1 (end of line)
High Wycombe P1 (3-Car Stop Board) HW Down Main Line Sig ME139 0m 03ch
High Wycombe (HW) P1 (end of line) Oxford Parkway P1 via Bicester Gds Loop 0m 51ch
HW Down Main Line Sig ME139 Banbury Road Sidings East Headshunt 35m 63ch.
Oxford Parkway P1 Banbury Road Sidings West Headshunt 0m 44ch
Banbury Road Sidings East Headshunt Banbury Road Sidings Cripple Road 0m 29ch
Banbury Road Sidings West Headshunt Banbury Road Sidings West Headshunt 0m 05ch
Banbury Road Sidings Cripple Road Banbury Road Sidings East Headshunt 0m 05ch
Banbury Road Sidings West Headshunt Oxford Parkway P2 0m 29ch
Banbury Road Sidings East Headshunt Bicester South Jn Up Main Sig ME2029 0m 36ch
Oxford Pkwy P2 via Bicester MoD run round Bicester North P1 9m 48ch
Bicester South Jn Up Main Sig ME2029 Bicester North Engineers' Siding 1m 27ch
Bicester North P1 Bicester North P1 0m 18ch
Bicester North Engineers' Siding High Wycombe P2 0m 18ch
Bicester North P1 West Ruislip P4 26m 61ch
Bicester North P1 London Marylebone P5 41m 22ch
Bicester North P1 54m 47ch

[BLN 1266.1933 - cont.] At 10.53, after the necessary photoshoots, meeting and greeting had
occurred, the tour proper was underway. The route was routine to Ruislip Gardens Jn, (sounds like a
miniature railway!) when the train ran under the bidirectional facility through the Up P4 at West
Ruislip and into the old Up Civil Engineers Siding No1 (no young civil engineers please, however
polite!). These are more evidence of the success and growth of Chiltern Railways over the years. It is
now necessary to stable a long rake of 165s between the peaks here, due to the introduction of
additional 168s reducing the space at Wembley Depot. The improved walkway and lighting could be
seen allowing the drivers to change ends and walk to and from West Ruislip station.

Back to South Ruislip to reverse, then West Ruislip again (via the normal Down Main line) for a trip to
the 'LUL head shunt'. Here participants saw the further evidence of the hard work by Chiltern Railways
and the BLS as the more eagle eyed passengers noted that, while we were in the Engineers Sidings, a
man in a high-viz vest was lurking in the undergrowth! On reversal instead of pulling straight out of the
head shunt, the unit swung right and navigated its way down the LUL transfer line around the back of
West Ruislip Underground Station and past the first set of points controlling access to the depot.
Being West Ruislip born and bred, this was certainly a massive requirement and certainly something I
never thought I would do. I don't think I was the only one on board grateful for this additional surprise
element! It was quite a surprise for the 'normal' passengers on passing LUL trains (and their drivers)
too. The front of our DMU reached the headshunt buffers, which would never normally have a train on
it (i.e. beyond the points into the LUL depot to our right). This was just short of the underbridge above
the Piccadilly/Metropolitan Uxbridge Line, at right angles to us beneath. TRACKmaps Vol 3 p19A (Aug
2010) and Vol 5 p37A (Nov 2008) both wrongly show this as the other side of this bridge. Our 31 May
1993 'Thames & Chiltern Rambler II' had only just poked its nose into the start of the transfer line!

ABOVE: At 12.20 well beyond the West Ruislip NR/LU boundary at the southern end of the Link Line.
LU Central Line P1-3 are in the distant background right, bottom left is the crossover into the depot.
All pictures by our Society photographer, Geoff Plumb (supervised where necessary) unless specified.
See https://goo.gl/S7vyPW for Geoff's splendid full set of pictures taken on the 'Wycombe Wanderer'.
BELOW: An enlarged section of the picture above, looking north at the LU West Ruislip platforms.

The tour had passed through the smaller overbridge left of the station on the 'NR Link line'.

[BLN 1266]
Back to West Ruislip, we headed for a routine trip down to High Wycombe, diving left into the bay P1
(unusually to the buffer stops), before the next piece of unusual track, the Engineers' Siding. This, of
course, is the stub of the former branch line to Maidenhead. Then the unit returned to the bay for the
participants to have a break of just over an hour. Well…most of the participants….some of the more
'desperate' travellers (a.k.a. me) decided on a quick leap to Finmere to score 73130+1753 and to visit
the work of the NSE Society. Very good it was too. So, anything that happened between then and my
re-joining the tour I know nothing about, it wasn't my fault and I wasn't there! Anyway, I digress…

ABOVE: At 13.08, not Ruislip Gardens but the end of High Wycombe Engineers' Siding on the
Wycombe Railway line to Bourne End and Maidenhead. '84C' was Banbury shed from 1950-63

[From one who stayed on the whole tour, in case anyone was wondering (or wandering even) from the
table; two visits were made to P1 buffer stops (not reached by service trains due to sighting issues) at
High Wycombe, when the very helpful Chiltern crew learnt that some were at the wrong end of the
train the first time! It was then off to Oxford Parkway P1 for all the rare moves in the table, in most
cases we were the first passenger train; the new Bicester MoD loop and its run round line included.]

BELOW: How it once was at Bicester Central Ordnance Depot; the former exchange sidings,
with a coach and loco from the defunct Bicester Military Railway (last operated 12 Mar 2014)
- perfect for an internal railtour - it was! Note the typical military railway track. (Ian Mortimer)

Our leaping reporter arrived at Oxford Parkway just in time to watch the tour traversing Banbury
Road Sidings and head-shunt at (where, for now, Chiltern stable DMUs at night and there was a rake
of stone wagons) providing a further demonstration of the work that went into organising the day.
165029 virtually kissed every conceivable buffer stop! After re-boarding, it was back to the main line
via bidirectional moves in the Bicester Village area to Bicester North Engineers' Siding that stable
Colas Rail Tampers; less use is expected once the
route to Oxford is up and running from Dec 12.

After again reversing in Bicester North Down P1,
it was back to Marylebone taking in the reversible
down road at High Wycombe to set down in P2
(connecting with a Class 68 hauled Birmingham
train) and a brief pathing/set-down stop at West
Ruislip. Unfortunately, the traffic constraints
prevented a request to travel over the
bidirectional Gerrards Cross facility being
achieved (this time!). This facility has only been
available since the Evergreen 3 upgrade of the
route was completed in August 2011.

I would like to thank the Branch Line Society and
all of the staff at Chiltern Railways (in particular
Josh Watkins, Paul Clewlow, Michael Yorke, Amy
Owen, Clive Lowther and the ever smiling trolley
girls-having a rare day out on a 165), and the NR
signalling staff at Marylebone IECC for facilitating
our weird and wacky requests and ensuring we all
had a super day out. Here's to the next one!

RIGHT: The end of Banbury Road stone terminal
cripple siding (tour tickets invalid?) was an 'on the
day bonus' due to running early and the great
helpfulness of the Network Rail and Chiltern staff.

ABOVE: 15.50 the new Banbury Road Stone Terminal east end head shunt (Oxford Parkway end); the station
is on the site of the previous stone terminal. BELOW: 16.06 and naturally the west (Bicester) end head shunt.

ABOVE: Taken during our 'Wycombe Wanderer' Railtour. The Grade II listed High Wycombe goods
shed at Amersham Hill near the station, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. (Mark Bennett)

LEFT: The great man himself with
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who is the

one on the right). (Mrs Adlam)

BELOW: (BLN 1265.1827) Guess the
location - answer below…

1266 BLN GENERAL
1934] Another Quiz: Which passenger line in the British Isles currently has trains calling at ten
consecutive stations with names that all beginning with the same letter of the alphabet?

1935]ppp..ppppppppppppppppppppPSUL 2016 – UPDATE 3pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp
.

Previous update appeared in BLN 1263; those details are not repeated below. Minor
retimings of a few minutes either way are ignored but the latest version of PSUL can be
found on-line via http://tinyurl.com/psul-intro link.

Pages 6 and 7: Sudbury Junction - Willesden West London Junction (via Willesden
Relief Lines diveunder) and Willesden – Mitre Bridge Junction and Latchmere
Junctions - Clapham Junction: Southern trains have now resumed operating most
services again.

Page 8: Tulse Hill Junction - Leigham Junction: 2I05 06.20 SSuX Streatham Hill -
London Bridge withdrawn again.

Page 11: MediaCityUK – Broadway: now used (by Eccles trams): Mondays to Fridays
before 07.15 and after 20.00; Saturdays before 09.00 and after 18.00; Sundays and
Bank Holidays all day.

Page 11: [Salford] Harbour City – Broadway: now used (by Eccles trams): Mondays to
Fridays 07.15 to 20.00; Saturdays 09.00 to 18.00 (no Sunday or Bank Holiday service).

Page 12: Shenfield - Mountnessing Junction (via reversible Southend Loop): now
reduced to: 2J06 06.32 SSuX Shenfield - Southminster and 2J41 18.36 SSuX return.

Page 14: Minster Station and West Junction - Minster South Junction: original
service now restored (all SSuX). 2R40 13.40 and 2R43 14.10 Charing Cross - Ramsgate
(via Dover) 2W24 07.42 and 2W26 08.05 Ramsgate - Charing Cross (via Dover).

Page 20: Mossend South Junction - Mossend East Junction: 2Y77 17.22 Edinburgh -
Motherwell withdrawn. Leaves 2Y76 06.00 SSuX Motherwell - Edinburgh.

1936] BLN PERIODIC QUIZ ANSWERS (1): (BLN 1265.1827) The compiler has 'green credentials' (Q9)…

1: The branches all left the main line with a junction on the opposite side of the main line to the
terminus. (Axminster for Lyme Regis, West Drayton for Staines West and Liskeard for Looe.)

2: Probably of dubious origin, but the story goes that an old lady asked a GWR booking clerk at
Weston-super-Mare about the next train to Clevedon. He told her to go across to the 'WC&P'
(Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway - read the initials out). The clerk was sacked not for his
indelicate impertinence to the old lady, but for failing to direct her to the GWR trains via Yatton!

3: Bo Peep, Durham Ox, Royal Oak and North Pole junctions were named after nearby public houses.
4: The figures are the height above mean sea level in feet of the railway summits at Masbury (811),

Falahill (880), Meldon (950), Torpantau (1,313), Stainmore (1,370) and Snaefell (2,034).
5: Denham, Aynho & Lapworth were consecutive water troughs on the Paddington to Birmingham line.
6: Glynn Bridge was the original name of Bodmin Road station; Bodmin Parkway since 4 Nov 1983.
7: On 1 Feb 1958 shed code '12A' moved from Upperby (became '12B' again) to Kingmoor (was '68A').
8: B1 4-6-0 No61018 was notable for its name 'GNU'; the shortest name of any BR locomotive.
9: 'Forest' is the single word that links the five passenger stations:

1). In Sussex (Forest Row).
2). On the Shenfield Line (Forest Gate).
3). Two in the suburbs of Newcastle-on-Tyne (Forest Hall); on the Blyth & Tyne and East Coast Main
Line near Benton.
4). In Britain's smallest County (Forest Mill).
5). Now operated by London Overground (Forest Hill).
10: ABOVE BOTTOM RIGHT: The 'guess the location' was Dunster signal box, taken in 1970 (before CP
4 Jan 1971 by BR); the split was for two single-track lines to Minehead which then ran to P1 and P2.

BLN 1266.1937] Stalybridge is appealing? A local researcher is seeking railway pictures taken from
Granville Street overbridge looking towards Stalybridge station from about 2006 to date. Any help
appreciated, please contact the Editor.

1938] Have you done all these yet? Some crossovers or bits of track have a regular sparse service that
may not be well known. X/O = crossover, C/E = country-end, L/E = London-end. All SSuX unless stated.
 Berwick-upon-Tweed: L/E X/O [E23 & Sc11]; 06.00 to King's Cross.
 Broxbourne: C/E X/O into P1 [E11]; 06.06 Hertford East to Liverpool Street.
 Carnoustie: X/O from P2 to Up Main [Sc16]; 06.03 to Dundee.
 Harrogate: L/E X/O [E42]: 06.05 & 06.25to Leeds; 07.34 to King's Cross & similar weekend services.
 Kensington Olympia: L/E facing X/O into P3 [S01]; 16.49 Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia.
 Kensington Olympia: L/E trailing X/O out of P2 [S01]; 16.34 to Clapham Junction.
 Luton South Jn: Trailing X/O from P3 to Up Fast [M02]; 06.22 Bedford to Sutton; 07.58 Bedford to

Elephant & Castle (less reliable than the 06.22).
 Marsden: Trailing X/O [E41]; 06.15 Marsden to Leeds; SuO 09.30 to Leeds.
 Newbury: C/E X/O [W11]; 17.08, 18.26, 19.27, 21.24 etc to Bedwyn.
 New Cross Gate Up Sussex Loop: (shown in TRACKmaps Vol 5.p3A (Nov 2008) as the OOU No1 Up

Carriage Siding) [S03]; 09.05, 18.05 etc Norwood Junction to London Bridge.
 Scunthorpe: L/E X/O [E34]; 07.22 to Adwick (Note: only to 9 Dec).
 South Bermondsey: C/E facing X/O into P2 (not in TRACKmaps) [S03]; 07.15,16.44, 17.10, 18.10 and

etc Beckenham Junction to South Bermondsey.
 Stansted Mountfitchet: X/O P1 to Down Main [E11]; 05.16 Stansted Airport- New St. & 19.22 return.
 Sydenham: facing X/O Up Slow-Up Fast [S04]; 07.20 Epsom & 18.06 W. Croydon, to London Bridge.

This list was kindly provided by our member Ian Delgado from Unusual Track https://goo.gl/atct2m
which has many more instances of unusual workings over the whole of England, Wales and Scotland.

1939] Taking Stock: The 50% of members who have participated in at least one fixture in the last 12
months will know that, as an enhancement, a comprehensive up to date stock-list for the railway/s
visited is provided electronically, particularly for 'spotters'. This is largely down to the work of our
Leeds member Gary Lonsdale who combines information from a number of sources with his own
records. Special thanks to Gary for all the time, effort and hard work he puts into this. Please do
email [email protected] with any additions or comments about any of our stocklists.

BELOW: Gary Lonsdale was spotted on the Wensleydale Railway event of 25 Sep. (Terry Waldron).

[BLN 1266]
1940] Points & Slips: BLN 1264.1708] On our Northern Ireland weekend participants were told about
the proposed Dargan Viaduct TCA for partial doubling (with a road improvement scheme) resulting in
temporary diversion of the Belfast to Londonderry trains via Lisburn, Crumlin and Antrim (currently
TCA). The bottom line is that this is now postponed until 2020 at the earliest due to lack of funding (no
'Dublin' in Belfast yet). Other road schemes are being prioritised. BLN 1265.1830] The Fledborough
(east) end of RIDC Tuxford test track beyond the former High Marnham Jn is at 27m 60ch per the
track plan (not 26m 70ch); the mileage is taken from the former Chesterfield Market Place station.

1941] John Cameron: An introduction to your newest Committee member and BLN East Midlands
Regional Editor… Born in the late 1960s, I grew up in the Scottish Borders, ironically not far from
Tweedbank, soon after the closure of the Waverley route, and its branches (sadly one of those cases
where it would actually be good to have been born earlier!). Given that the nearest (open) railway line
was over 20 miles away, it is not clear why my early interest in railways developed. Family holidays in
Dent and visits to an uncle in Horton-in-Ribblesdale could have had something to with it. At the age of
eight, a family car holiday by Motorail may have covered the car loading /unloading docks at
Edinburgh Waverley and Bristol Temple Meads. However, few eight year olds record track to Quail
level (some BLS dads might for them!), and my parents cannot recall the details I would like to know!

Twenty years were spent in Manchester living in sight of the railway line in Longsight and Burnage.
However, despite this, the Museum of Science and Industry (the former Manchester Liverpool Road
station) passenger running lines were not covered before they were lifted to build the Ordsall Chord!
This abysmal track record has continued; now living in Derby (returning to childhood ways of being
next to a closed railway line, this time the GNR Friargate station and lines) and only 10 minutes walk
from Markeaton Park. Sadly, I failed to travel on the light railway there before it closed recently.

[BLN 1266]
ABOVE: A real 'tractor' Thunderbird comes to the rescue on the Markeaton Park Light Railway,
bottom right is the passing loop point which was normally bolted OOU (Kev Adlam 8 May 2016)

A later musical bent led to playing the bass guitar and double bass (a challenge for one so small) once
at the same event as the 'Bhundu Boys', who were almost famous at the time. Jobs over the years
included including a stint as an (unsuccessful) Hoover repairman [Class 50s are not easy - Ed] and a job
in a library. [John can still be a bit quiet at times.]

Reading in a railway magazine about a BLS railtour that had spent hours traversing various sidings in
sight of my local station in Derby first caught my attention. I soon joined, finding the information in
Branch Line News fascinating. I had no idea before that such detail existed! My first BLS tour was the
'Clyde Race Tracker' from Manchester to Edinburgh and Glasgow. This was a great experience; I had
never been on a tour so geared to rare track. My fellow passengers were a very friendly and
interesting bunch, with several people making an effort to talk to a new face. I loved being part of an
event that raised so much (£38k) for charity but also being great fun. I am now a regular BLS Steward.

My main interests are UK track and Minor Railways. I enjoy walks along disused railways and between
open railway stations (not on the track!). I also indulge in 'bashing' locos and units and am (slowly)
trying to use every UK station. My greatest regrets are all those years of rail travel with no map or pen
and not joining the BLS years sooner! Living in the East Midlands, I was delighted and honoured to be
asked to edit the BLN East Midlands section and be co-opted onto your committee with a special
interest in fixtures. As a new boy, I would be very grateful for any items of news or interest.

1266 EAST MIDLANDS,
1942] The Lowdown on Old Signals Going for a Burton, not Staying: From 05.00 on Mon 3 Oct until
Fri 21 Oct. The new signalling and associated equipment between Burton Joyce and Staythorpe (both
exclusive), i.e. from 5m 20ch (Burton Joyce exclusive) to 12m 46ch (Fiskerton Junction) was/is to be
commissioned and brought into use. Control is to be from the East Midlands Control Centre (Derby),
Netherfield Workstation. The Up/Down Main will be renamed the Up/Down Newark.This leaves the
section on to Newark Castle for later commissioning.

1943] Derwent Valley Line: East Midlands Trains (EMT) operate an hourly (Sundays two hourly) service
between Matlock, Derby and Nottingham, with most trains now continuing to Newark Castle. EMT
promotes the line with a range of affordable fares. Examples are Adult day returns Nottingham to
Cromford £8.90, Derby to Cromford £5.70, and Derby to Belper £4.50. [The Railcard day return from
Malvern to Matlock is only 95p dearer than Derby - Ed.] Groupsave tickets give a 34% discount for
groups of 3 to 9 adults. Day returns and Groupsave tickets between any two stations on the line allow
passengers to hop on and off at intermediate stations on both the outward and return journeys. Car
parking is available for £2.20 all day at Duffield (for the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway with good train
connections), Cromford, Ambergate and Whatstandwell.

The Derby to Matlock Derwent Valley area is The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, due to the
area's importance in the Industrial Revolution. Various mills and other historic buildings and sites can
be seen and visited. Discounts are available at some attractions for train passengers. See the EMT
detailed leaflet 'Your Guide to the Derwent Valley Line' https://goo.gl/8t0Yph or 01629 533190.

There are many fascinating 'Discovery Days 2016' events from 22 to 30 Oct. Members taking part in
our Crich Tramway Village and Goodluck Mine visits on 23 Oct might want to attend some. Two of
railway interest are: (1) High Peak Junction Workshops (and other times of year); 10.30-16.00. Visitor
Centre free; small charge for the workshop/audio tour. (2) 'The Derwent Valley Railway' Mon 24 Oct
19.00-20.30, The Strutts Centre, Belper, DE56 1NU. Terry Griffin talks about the development of the
railway with past and present images of the view through the carriage window. Free but donations
welcome. Booking recommended on 01629 536831. See https://goo.gl/6b7Vey for more events.

BLN 1266.1944] Chaddesden Sidings Electrification! It has been reported that all seven roads were
occupied until recently; five by rakes of wagons owned by Freightliner Heavy Haul (presumably due to
the coal traffic down-turn) and DC Rail and two roads by NR trains which stable regularly. There has
been no capacity for trains to run round in the sidings, which has been causing problems for NR,
(running round taking place in the Derby station area instead, which greatly reduces operational
capacity). NR was understandably very keen to have the sidings cleared as soon as possible. The
Midland Main Line Electrification project also has Chaddesden sidings in its sights. The plan is for an
OHLE span across Roads 6 and 7 for staff training. However, this cannot happen with wagons stabled
on them. On 24 Sep DC Rail moved a rake of scrap metal wagons to Spondon Celanese Works sidings.
This involved the train reversing on the main line, running into the (very overgrown) Derwent
Cogeneration sidings, reversing again and then running into the siding next to Courtaulds factory. It is
not known when these sidings were last used, but it is believed to have been many years ago.

1945] Barrow upon Soar: (BLN 1263.1606) Grove Nook Lane road bridge (108m 48ch) over the
Midland Main Line closed to road vehicles and pedestrians following its partial collapse on 2 August.
It opened to pedestrians three weeks later but will remain closed to vehicles until the road surface and
parapet walls are reinstated. NR has drawn up plans to raise the parapets at the same time as making
these repairs, ready for electrification. This could mean the road remaining closed until January 2017
and some short-term disruption to trains. Over 200 tonnes of debris has been removed from the site,
new tie-bars and plates installed and concrete sprayed onto the wall to stabilise it.

1946] Nottingham NET: On Sun 25 Sep there were service changes due to the Robin Hood half
marathon crossing the tramway at Gregory Street. From 10.00 to 12.30 trams from Toton Lane
terminated at University Boulevard (with a shuttle to QMC) and from Hucknall at Meadows Way West.

1266 GREATER LONDON

X.155] Paddington: (BLN 1265.1835) BELOW: Lift removal work at P13 on 25 Sep 2016. (Stuart Hicks)

1947] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1262.1514) Traffic
was light on the truncated service at lunchtime on 23
Sep, the last day before closure until February. At
South Tottenham a gate line and lifts have been
installed on the south side; the former entrance to
the north of the tracks is now closed. The ex-station
building by the entrance to the Harringay Green
Lanes westbound platform is now a bar/café.

1948] Crossrail: (BLN 1265.1833) Austrian company
Wiehag is assembling a roof for the new Abbey
Wood station made of laminated panels of larch and
spruce. It is intended to resemble a stingray and
needs 30 tons of steel to support it. Hopefully
passenger won't be stung by the fares to pay for it.

1949] Gidea Park (1): The OHLE through the facing
connections Down Electric Line to Up Main Line, and
Up Main to Up Electric, 'have been removed' from
the weekend of 24/25 Sept and are due to be
restored from 04.00 Mon 31 Oct. This had originally
been advised to commence a week earlier but was
postponed. All electric trains to/from Chelmsford
(etc) must run main line east of Seven Kings Jn.

[BLN 1266]
Gidea Park (2): From 2 Oct a temporary carriage washer was to be provided such that a section of No4
siding became a 'Light Maintenance Depot' instead of a Network Siding. NR will undertake a wider
refurbishment of Gidea Park in late 2017 when the washer will be temporarily removed. Then it will be
re-instated in the same position until late 2019 when it is due to be permanently removed.

1950] Farringdon: (BLN 1255.796) A member passing by train during the last week in September was
very surprised to see that nearly all of the engineers' sidings had been lifted (presumably over the
24/25 Sep weekend possession). They were certainly intact and partially occupied by wagons on 13th.

1951] Pic(k)adilly Circus: On 7 Nov an art installation is to be unveiled to mark the 75th anniversary of
the death of Frank Pick, who rose to the post of vice-chairman of the London Passenger Transport
Board and was responsible for commissioning many design classics associated with the Underground.
These include the Underground map, the Johnston typeface and Charles Holden-designed stations,
such as Piccadilly Circus. The LT Museum is arranging part of the funding for the installation by
crowdfunding https://goo.gL/E7KWqt which expires on 10 Oct.

1952] Thameslink: (BLN 1264.1731) Nearly all the track is now installed between London Bridge and
New Cross/New Cross Gate. Contrary to previous reports, (based on published stage works), the Down
Sussex Slow (Spa Road Jn to Bricklayers Arms Jn) will be brought into use over Christmas/New Year.

1953] Croydon Tramlink: (BLN 1233.951) The application for a Transport & Works Act Order for the
Dingwall Road town centre loop has been delayed while Westfield prepares a replacement planning
application, this being a key to financing the project. ('Underground News')

1266 NORTH EAST
1954] Sunderland South Dock: A knowledgeable correspondent has kindly responded to the query on
p22 of the itinerary for our 29 Aug railtour 'A Tale of Two Ports' (sent out with e-BLN 1264), concerning
property ownership at Hendon and the Port of Sunderland. It is confirmed that South Dock shed and
Hendon Sidings, together with the cutting down to the port, were owned by British Railways. The gate
at the entrance to the port, at the bottom of the incline, appears to be in the vicinity of the ownership
boundary between the railway and the port.

Private siding or connection agreements between the railway and a customer frequently resulted in
different boundaries for ownership of the line, maintenance and train operation. The boundary
marked on the track plan at Hendon Jn (1m 53ch) is probably that for maintenance. Despite the efforts
of BR's Freight Sales Service Committee to bring discipline, there was never such a thing as a 'standard'
private siding agreement, particularly with customers such as port authorities whose railway
involvement went back to the dawn of railways. Terms had evolved over the years and there were
even some agreements that pre-dated nationalisation. The terms could also reflect the relative
bargaining positions of the railway and the customer, how attractive the traffic was and there may
have been regional variations.

Wherever possible, BR tried to persuade the customer to be responsible for any sidings used
exclusively for their traffic. Some customers would carry out the maintenance themselves and others
would pay BR to do it for them. It is thus quite likely that the track from Hendon Jn to the Port is (or
was) railway-owned but maintained by, or at the cost of, the Port.

Regarding operational limits, in many cases the customer has no locomotives and the freight operator
does all the shunting. However, some do have their own locomotives, as at the Port of Sunderland (as
seen by participants on the railtour) and some customers had very extensive networks and a large
rolling stock fleet. Where there is an internal network, it must be specified how far main line locos can
proceed. It is less common these days for a 'private' locomotive to work on to NR lines, and the limits
of this private operation must be specified. It was more common in BR days, in particular, the National
Coal Board and its predecessors did so at various locations, especially in the North East.

BLN 1266.1954 ABOVE: Port of Sunderland railway: (Thanks to Martyn Brailsford) The red lines are
those traversed by our 'Tale of Two Ports' tour on Mon 29 Aug. The larger digits are point numbers.

1266 NORTH WEST
1955] Burscough Bridge: Several members used this station styled as 'Burscough (Bus) Interchange' on
Thur 29 Sep to attend the excellent 'open day' at the nearby Windmill Farm Railway (BLN 1258.1165).
The basic service is much improved on years ago, half-hourly trains to Southport and Manchester
(Victoria and Airport alternating); most trains are 4-car DMUs. The impressive 2005 spacious modern
station building on the Down (to Southport) side which housed the ticket office, toilets, cycle locker,
waiting room as well as 'Green Shoots' Community Café and shop, closed on 25 Jun due to Lancashire
County Council spending cuts. It is available for use by potential community interest group/s. The
nearest staffed stations are Parbold and Ormskirk; passengers are now advised to buy tickets on line or
on the train. The bus stop outside Burscough Bridge station has a sign that buses no longer use it but
the car park was well filled. The fine original 1855/60 Up side station buildings are Grade II listed.
BELOW: Southport train at Burscough Bridge, the old station building is right. (John Cameron 29 Sep)

1956] Reddish South/Denton: (BLN 1246.1746) The item about the reduction to weekly service at
Reddish South and Denton stations is incorrect. The section of line between Heaton Norris Jn and
Denton Jn which served these stations had been the LNWR's route for expresses between Euston and
Leeds (via Stalybridge) and between Euston and the L&Y cotton towns (via Droylsden and Manchester
Victoria). The Stalybridge local trains (which stopped at Reddish South and Denton) had all been
diverted via Guide Bridge (GCR) by 1 Jan 1968. Their frequency was reduced to four trips one way and
two the other, all SSuX, from 14 May 1990, reducing to three trips one way and two the other from
8 Jul 1991, and then down to today's level of a one-way weekly train from the 11 May 1992; initially
the 13.56 FO Stockport to Stalybridge. There were also half a dozen or so round trips a night by
unadvertised staff trains between Manchester Piccadilly, Longsight, Stockport and Guide Bridge
(serving Reddish South and Denton if required); these were not finally withdrawn until 12 Mar 1996.

[BLN 1266]
Meanwhile, the Droylsden route to Manchester Victoria (on which stops at the two stations were very
limited) was OOU by May 1969 in favour of the present day route via Ashton Moss North Jn. By 1988
this had just a SuX Stockport to Blackpool North round trip and a few seasonal trains but was reduced
from 15 May 1989 to a one-way 10.40 SSuX Stockport to Manchester Victoria - which did not carry
passengers (BLN 625.62) when loco-hauled (reason/s not explained). It was this train that was reduced
to weekly (FO) frequency from the 13 May 1991 timetable (and may not have involved Reddish South
and Denton). From the following timetable, it was at 09.10 SO from Stockport to Manchester Victoria
and, as such, was withdrawn from 24 Jan 1994. BELOW: From the 1912 Railway clearing House
Junction Diagrams. Denton is bottom left (actually shown as a 'principal station' on the OS 7th Series
one inch maps!), the next station towards Stockport is, of course, Reddish South off the diagram.

[BLN 1266]
1957] Blackpool illuminated: Work on the next phase of the NW electrification programme from
Preston, began on 3 Oct. On completion, Pendolinos will operate from Blackpool North to London
Euston. Buses replace early morning and late evening services until May 2018. Weekend closures are
required early next year. Over 7 miles of track are being replaced; layouts and signalling will be
simplified particularly at Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham with major platform remodelling.

1958] Chorley: (BLN 1259.1212) From 22 Aug Chorley Ground Frame (also known as Friday Street GF)
and associated trailing crossover at 22m 24ch (the Preston end of the station) were recovered.

1959] Buckshaw Parkway: Also from 22 Aug, Buckshaw Emergency GF was commissioned providing a
turnback facility over the new trailing crossover installed 26 June at 24m 24ch (Manchester end of the
station). The 'ground frame' has a switch panel and telephone to contact Preston Power Signal Box.

1960] Accrington: Sun 6 Nov, 09.11 & 10.11 ex-Blackpool North are booked P2 arrivals via facing X/O.

1961] Keswick: (BLN 1254.686) Clearance, repair and reinstatement work on the flood damaged
trackbed route to Threlkeld is due to start this autumn under the guidance of the Lake District
National Park Authority. They own and manage this section as a foot/cycle path; an arrangement that
saved much of the infrastructure, especially the lovely girder bridges, after the line CP 6 Mar 1972.
A section of the embankment was washed out at a location where the river flow was particularly
constricted and fast. CKP Railways (who aim to reopen the railway) proposed that a new embankment
should be built on an alignment nearer the north side of the gorge. That would allow more space for
floodwater, reducing the strength of future floods. It would also make the route more resilient to
future storms. Bridge No73, Rawsome (NY304246), suffered some damage to the stonework of the
western abutment and is currently closed as its condition cannot be guaranteed. Some people have
been removing the barriers and crossing the bridge, putting themselves and others at risk. Bridge No66
Low Pearson (NY294247) was destroyed and the wreckage will be cleared from the river. Bridge No71,
one of the iconic bow girder bridges, near Brundholme Woods (NY299247) was swept off its
abutments and now sits on a new bank of debris, almost parallel to the riverbank (e-BLN 1247.2337).
Unfortunately the plans and pictures do not reproduce with sufficient clarity to go in e-BLN but they
are available on CKP's website along with much other information about the reopening project.

1266 LONDON & THE SOUTH EAST – THAMESLINK TIMETABLE PROPOSALS
1962] Timetable Consultation: (BLN 1261.1405/2) Details https://goo.gl/whl7Lk are available in
respect of proposed alterations to the four branded service groups of Govia Thameslink Railway
(GTR), Britain's Largest Train Operating Company - Thameslink (TL), Southern (SN), Gatwick Express
(GX) and Great Northern (GN) - when the full service commences during 2018. The main 71-page
document shows details of all proposed GTR services (see e-BLN download), including stopping
patterns; some Sunday services are still to be finalised. Linked are information sheets summarising
proposed changes by route and a very comprehensive station-by-station comparison chart.

The consultation, 'Phase 1', runs until 17.00 on 8 Dec. Responses are solicited from all interested
parties (which could be you) and it suggests these will not necessarily be dealt with by a 'tick-box'
marketing company but will actually make their way to the train planning team. There are some
either/or options on which the public's views are sought. The team will be at various venues during
October to December listed in the document. Phase 2 takes place during 2017 after Phase 1 responses
have been received and will refine the timetable for all seven days, including first and last trains and
formations. The three dates for the staged introduction of services are (8?) Jan, 13 May & 9 Dec, all
2018; with most of the new timetable introduced on the middle date. As yet 'unspecified' alterations*
(but see next page) are needed to Southeastern (SE) services.

1963] Thameslink (TL): The service patterns shown in BLN 1261 still apply except that Cambridge
North is now shown to be served by GN only. Of note is that the Luton to Rainham service (TL10)
would call all stations via Greenwich except Woolwich Dockyard, Belvedere and Erith.

[BLN 1266]
The explanatory note reads: These trains are not able to call at Woolwich Dockyard due (sic) to short
platforms being unable to accommodate 12 carriage trains. There is insufficient time within the
timetable to call at Belvedere and Erith stations on Thameslink routes. These stations will be served up
to four times an hour by Southeastern trains to and from Cannon Street. We know that class 700s have
selective door operation because over length trains will call at Balcombe (Up), Meldreth, Shepreth,
Foxton, Ifield, Faygate and Littlehaven so the Woolwich Dockyard explanation is spurious.

The reference to Cannon Street trains suggests that the present service to/from Dartford would be
replaced by TL. The four remaining SE trains run to Barnehurst (2) and Crayford (2) and beyond.
We are not told whether TL would replace the existing, all stations service between Dartford and
Gravesend or complement it. The Cambridge to Maidstone East service (TL7) would call all stations to
Hatfield, then Potters Bar, Finsbury Park, all core stations to London Bridge then St Mary Cray or
Swanley (not enough time for both), Otford, Borough Green and West Malling. Only a few would run
east of Maidstone and on Sundays they are diverted to King's Cross after Finsbury Park. What is not
explained is how TL's 30-minute all-day service would fit in with SE's 20-minute morning peak/22-
minute evening peak pattern (but the mismatch might explain * above). There are no surprises in the
TL services on the Brighton line and branches except that more Littlehampton services are proposed
than were expected. There is some variation in the peak/off-peak calling patterns south of Purley.

1964] Southern (SN): This section is described as Proposals for a redesigned and simplified Southern
network. The proposals are divided into Mainline and Metro. Other than the peak Littlehampton
services proposed to be transferred to TL, there are very few changes to services between London and
the south coast on Mondays to Saturdays or to Coastway West trains. There is, though, a desire for
Sunday services to more closely reflect the rest of the week and this is still under consideration.

Views are sought on off-peak frequencies at Cooksbridge and Plumpton, whether through services
should still operate at peak times to/from Seaford, and consideration is being given to closing some
peak-hour gaps at certain stations to/from London. SN services to Ore may also be substantially
withdrawn with SE serving it instead. However, the signalling at Hastings does not permit a passenger
train to couple up to one already standing in the station. Either they join up in Park Sidings or the
second portion must come from there. Access from Ore is only available into P2, the only through line
in that direction. SE trains requiring strengthening would suffer a journey time penalty.

There is much discussion on how best to serve intermediate stations south of Purley and the branches
from Redhill and views are sought on various options proposed. It is acknowledged that the current
service between Ashford and Brighton does not work well owing to serious overcrowding that often
occurs west of Eastbourne. Despite more DMUs being drafted in from ScotRail, there are not enough
units to strengthen the service. Our correspondent asked an SN director why they were not retained
as 3-cars and was told that the DfT did not give the TOC the option. 4-car trains cannot work to/from
Ashford, except under special arrangements, because, being formed of 23m vehicles, they are too long
for an 8-car SE unit to be able to occupy the London end of P1 at the same time. Comments are
solicited on if it is preferable to split the service at Hastings or Eastbourne with EMUs west thereof.

Proposed Metro changes are much more radical, designed to simplify the service and to improve
frequencies over several routes. There are far too many to list here but highlights include doubling the
Epsom Downs service to 2 trains per hour (tph); increasing the frequency of trains between West
Croydon and Sutton and between Sutton and Epsom; reverting to splitting and joining Caterham and
Tattenham Corner services at Purley (to save paths); and doubling the frequency at Reedham and
Coulsdon Town (again!). There would still be 4tph serving Caterham. On the West London line, there
are no significant changes except that Monday to Friday peak trains that currently turn round at East
Croydon would either do so at Selhurst or Coulsdon Town. To meet demand, Milton Keynes trains
would be formed of 8-cars (SSuX) and 5-cars (SSuO).

BLN 1266.1965] Gatwick Express (GX): The principle of four trains per hour is unchanged, with two
running non-stop to/from Brighton. However, Up GXs are proposed to leave Gatwick at alternating
10/20-minute intervals thus breaking the long-standing arrangement of a train every 15 minutes that
started when GX first began; a model that has since spread all over the world! It is not stated if the
proposed 20-minute gap would be before the starting train or before the one that comes from
Brighton; hopefully it is the former. Likewise, the latter trains should use P5 at Gatwick rather than P4
as now. Peak services still call at Burgess Hill and Hassocks but not Haywards Heath or Preston Park.

1966] Great Northern (GN): Most Mainline services are transferred to TL. The fast Cambridge trains,
originally known as Cruisers, would continue (worked by class 387 units) with a half-hourly service
to/from King's Lynn but only after NR has carried out improvements at Ely North Jn. Until then, the
second train would turn round at Ely. One of them would call at Cambridge North initially, increasing
to both eventually, and some peak services would stop at Royston. Waterbeach would remain hourly
despite the housing development there. 8-car trains would operate to/from King's Lynn but only after
platforms are lengthened at Waterbeach, Littleport and Watlington, power supplies are upgraded
north of Milton and level crossings are improved. Some fast peak services would be retained between
Peterborough and King's Cross calling at Huntingdon, St Neots, Biggleswade and Stevenage.

There would also be a peak service between Royston and King's Cross calling at all stations to Hitchin
then Welwyn North and King's Cross. However, the station-by-station comparison chart shows only
one of these to call at Welwyn North, retaining 3tph there. The frequency of GN Metro services would
be increased dramatically. There would be an increase in peak services to/from Moorgate from 12 to
14tph, still a far cry from the 20tph of the early 1980s. Off-peak there would be 6tph (SuX), 4tph (SuO)
to/from Hertford North, calling all stations except Bayford (4tph). Welwyn GC would have 4tph seven
days as well as the peak limited-stop TL trains to/from Sevenoaks. Some trains serving both routes
would miss out Harringay and Hornsey.

There would have been an increase to 2tph between Hertford North and Stevenage (not Hitchin or
Letchworth) except that NR have not provided a fifth running line and platform between Langley Jn
and Stevenage. This scheme was started several years ago and included a new Down Slow to Down
Fast crossover so that trains diverted via Hertford could stop in either Down platform. Clearance work
was carried out on the Down side and some switch and crossing work was actually delivered to
site. Subsequently it was taken away and the project apparently abandoned. (In the early 1980s there
was a proposal for a fifth line and platform on the Up side but an access road to Royal Mail was built
instead. RM has gone and the site is now occupied by a police station.) The choice is between running
the full proposed level of TL/GN services or the Metro trains. The consultation document gives the
relative usage and forecasts for each and comes down firmly on the side of the longer distance trains
with bus replacement between Watton-at-Stone and Stevenage. Where the Metro trains would
reverse is to be decided but it seems likely that it would be Bragbury Jn, (26m 20ch) - the training
crossover west of Watton-at-Stone put in for single line working with the ERTMS trials. There would
still be some Stevenage and Letchworth trains early morning, late evening and Sundays. Particular
thanks to our member who kindly summarised the 71-page document (etc) especially for BLN.

1266 SOUTH EAST – NORTH (& EAST ANGLIA)
1967] Maidenhead: (BLN 1259.1223) The reversible west end connection to the Marlow branch
trailing into the Up Relief at P4 is to be removed. The only branch access will be the extended and
renewed connection at the London end of P5. Anyone who needs the P4 link has been warned.

1968] Banbury: From 10 Oct at Reservoir Jn the OOU former Banbury north points on the Reservoir
Neck (87m 39ch), previously forming the Reservoir Neck to the Down Cherwell Valley connection, are
to be recovered and plain lined.

1266 SOUTH EAST – SOUTH
1969] Winfrith Sidings: (127m 69ch) between Wool and Moreton; freight traffic is expected in 2017.

1970] Rochester: From Mon 10 Oct the full length of the Down loop (P3) is due to be commissioned.
The buffer stops at the end of temporary bay P3 will be removed and the line extended at the country
end by about 330m to join the existing Down Rochester Loop. The previous access to that loop from
the Down Chatham at 33m 53ch is to be removed. P3 will become a through platform, extended by
48m to 253m, and be able to take 12-car trains rather than 8-car.

1971] Chatham 'Central' Branch: BLN Pictorial 1249, available here Download (with a map on P12

and links to other maps), mentioned this 1¼ mile South Eastern Railway (SER) branch from Strood. It
was only ever passenger, and opened to Rochester on 20 Jul 1891 and to Chatham Central on 1 Mar
1892; the same date as the London Chatham & Dover Railway (LC&DR) opened their Rochester
station. Despite the SER Chatham station carrying a 'Central' suffix (there was already a plain Chatham
station on the LC&DR), they did not bother at Rochester. The local appendage of 'Common' and
Bradshaw's Guide's of 'Central' to the SER's Rochester station were not matched in the SER and SE&CR
public timetables - it was plain 'Rochester' throughout its 20-year life - despite what Clinker, Quick,
Butt and others have claimed. The branch had no Sunday service; the last train ran Sat 30 Sep 1911 so
it CP (with effect from) Mon 2 Oct (not Jul) 1911.

The map (said to be 1910) should show the SER's Toomer loop from Strood, parallel to their Chatham
branch, to the LC&DR at Rochester Bridge Jn from the Dartford line to the LC&DR towards Chatham.

The refusal by the two companies to provide a connecting service at Strood was of growing concern to
the inhabitants of the towns who had to walk along Canal Road from the LCDR's Rochester Bridge
Station in the High Street to the SER's Strood Junction Station. In 1876 it resulted in the Mayor of
Rochester, one Alderman Toomer, invoking the help of the Railway Commissioners who ruled that the
companies would be liable to penalties if such a service were not re-introduced. Needless to say it was,
and it became known as 'The Toomer Service', a phrase that still survives today.

Rationalisation started 28 Jan 1912 when the Toomer loop was closed and a new Rochester Jn was
installed east of the Medway bridge shown https://goo.gl/UcIxjq (map) connecting the two lines. This
allowed movements previously made via the Toomer loop and reopened the SER's Medway bridge.
However, fire closed that bridge from 29 Jun 1919 so the Toomer loop and the old arrangement had to
be revived and operated from 1 Aug 1919 until the ex-SER bridge reopened 8 Jan 1922. Rochester
ex-LC&DR station was later extended on its east side, using some of the former SER branch trackbed.

The remodelling mentioned in BLNP 1249 (when the ex-LC&DR main line from Swanley slewed at
Rochester Bridge Jn to run over the ex-SER bridge) was actually the last until recently. It came into
effect from 10 Jul 1927 (Southern Railway Signalling Instructions No18 of 6 July, 1927 contained,
amongst other things, a 'New Signal Box and Layout at Rochester Bridge', with 'Closing of Rochester
Junction Signal Box'). The ex-LC&DR bridge then went out of use (as stated) until the 1960s - but was
later relaid during WWII in case it were needed if the other bridge were damaged or destroyed.

Our correspondent feels it is not correct that the ex-SER Rochester station 'became Rochester's freight
depot'. The LC&DR's goods depot had pre-dated the SER branch closure but, at some date (possibly
with the remodelling of L&CDR Rochester passenger station? - as above) after passenger services had
been withdrawn, there was some 'remodelling' which used some of the former trackbed. The L&CDR's
goods depot was 'Chatham' in 1904 but had officially become 'Rochester & Chatham Goods' by 1956
(Hand-book of Stations). BLN 607 records 'Rochester: Station Freight Depot (Furrells Road Wharf)'
CG 5 Sep 1988. Presumably, that represented the closure of the whole of whatever then remained of
Rochester & Chatham goods (Furrells Road Wharf being its easternmost extremity) rather than a much
shorter closure - merely from the goods depot across Furrells Road level crossing to the wharf.

1972] Shenfield: (BLN 1265.1853) Crossrail works are in full swing. From a weekend possession of
17/18 Sep (00.01 Sat) 'London End Junction' (the western set of points are facing leads Down Main to
Down Electric, and Up Electric to Up Main; the eastern set are Up Main to Up Electric, and Down

Electric to Down Main) was 'secured OOU pending removal and future remodelling'. No movements
from the Electric lines towards the Main lines and vice versa will be permitted at Shenfield London End
Junction until final remodelling works are complete - due in May 2017. The same possession saw the
start of work on Shenfield P5 (temporarily reduced in length to 189m). 4-car and 8-car operations will
only be permitted during this time. P5 will be returned to normal operations in May 2017.

Regarding booked passenger trains, Down Southend Victoria trains can no longer cross from the Down
Main to P4 or 5, then via the reversible Southend Loop to Mountnessing Jn (to avoid a flat crossing of
the Up Main at the east end of Shenfield station). Additionally (BLN London section), Gidea Park Jn
(the previous place where a crossing from the Down Main to the Down Electric could take place) is not
currently available for electric trains [OHLE plain lined - Ed?]. Even if it had been, the frequency of TFL
Rail (future Crossrail services) coupled with the timings of the three-trains-an-hour Southend service
makes crossing moves there impracticable. The overall result is that the Down Southend trains now
use the flat junction at the east end of Shenfield station and booked passenger usage of the reversible
Southend Loop was reduced to two trains from 19 Sep, by Short Term Plan changes to the working
timetable. They are 06.32 Shenfield to Southminster and 18.36 Southminster to Shenfield (both SSuX)
booked to use Shenfield P4; other Southminster passenger trains are now booked for P1 or P3.

1266 WEST MIDLANDS
1973] Four Ashes: The Up Goods Loop (20m 20ch to 19m 71ch) between Penkridge and Bushbury Jn
here has been OOU since July due to a faulty point, although it is due to be reinstated at some point.

X.156] Great Malvern: BELOW: A NR measurement train from Swansea Landore to Derby Railway
Technical Centre (via a rather circuitous route!) heading from Worcester to Malvern Wells (where it
reversed and came back again an hour later) on Thur 29 Sep. Right of the leading engine was the
Midland Railway bay platform for the service to Ashchurch via Upton-upon-Severn and Tewkesbury.
Originally double track throughout it CP beyond 'Malvern & Tewkesbury Jn' to Upton-upon-Severn on
1 Dec 1952. There was one intermediate station https://goo.gl/yVC6hj on this section (Ralph Ward).
NEXT PAGE: Leaving Great Malvern and heading west for Malvern Wells; the leading loco is just
passing your Editor's house a few minutes walk from the station. These 'yellow' measurement trains
run every 6-8 weeks or so and can be a HST, Class 150 unit or Class 37 'top and tailed'. (Peter Hughes)

1974] Midland Metro, Wednesbury P3: (BLN 1260.1264) The timetable has changed again; the facing
crossover and P3 are used by trams from Wolverhampton St Georges at (SSuX) 09.00, 18.38, 19.05,
19.22, 19.38, 19.52, 23.45, 00.00 (sic) & 00.15; (SO) 19.05, 19.21, 19.37, 00.15, 00.30 & 00.45 and
(SuO) 23.15, 23.30 & 23.45. The facing crossover from the Birmingham direction to P3 is used by trams
ex-Grand Central at (SSuX) 08.39, 09.03, 18.25, 18.47, 19.17, 19.37, 23.45, 00.00 & 00.15; (SuO) 19.08,
19.18, 00.15, 00.30 & 00.45 and (SuO) 23.15, 23.30 & 23.45. The 18.38 & 19.05 ex-Wolverhampton
and the 18.25 & 18.47 ex-Birmingham Grand Central all performed according to plan on Fri 16 Sep.

1266 SOUTH WEST
1975] Ashton Gate: (BLN
1265.1866) Regarding the
use of this Portishead
branch station for football
traffic, it was deleted from
PSUL from the 1975/76
edition. We would be
interested to hear from
members, Bristol City
supporters or not, who
used the football trains or
know of someone who
did, regarding the period
of time they ran. The
station may have been
used for 'away' supporters
prior to 31 Oct 1970, when a service for home supporters started (BLN 169 [13 Jan 1971] p2 - BELOW).
We are also trying to establish how long use continued, and if this was as late as 1977. If you know
anything, or can ask anyone who might be able to help, please pass the information on to the Regional
Editor! ABOVE: 'Ashton Gate Platform' in Aug 1958 with a train from Portishead to Bristol; the
Wapping Wharf branch diverges off to the right behind the platform. (Paul Townsend)

[BLN 1266]

1976] Bristol Parkway: (BLN 1265.1862/63) Further to the temporary working methods detailed
during the Severn Tunnel closure, the trains using Yate Middle are terminators from Taunton (some
from further west), which would normally travel to Cardiff Central. The requirement to maintain the
hourly service pattern means these DMUs sit for over 20 minutes on the branch before returning. Also
of interest is the movement of the terminating services from Portsmouth Harbour onto the former
Royal Mail Terminal spur. Presumably, this is to clear P4 for use by diverted through trains. Meanwhile
to further clear P4 for diversions, the Weston-super-Mare to Bristol Parkway service is cut back to
terminate at Filton Abbey Wood, with reversals at (newly commissioned) Signal BI2052.
1977] Coombe Rail: A correspondent notes the ambitious plans of this registered charity which is
lobbying for the return of a light railway between Braunton and Barnstaple, in an effort to solve the
local traffic and parking problems. Https://goo.gl/5jh5BZ refers to the use of battery-electric, tram
style multiple units, running on street for part of the route and using the former LSWR alignment
(OP 20 Jul 1874; CP 5 Oct 1970). The group has also obtained permission to place interpretation boards
along the cycleway that follows much of the former route to Ilfracombe, providing a heritage trail.

1266 YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE
1978] Grosmont: (BLN 1265.1905) A member was puzzled that a tunnel which had once carried trains
never had a steam loco pass through it but nevertheless was connected with an MPD! Grosmont MPD
is, of course, an entirely post-preservation establishment; the BR Depots were at Malton and Whitby.
The Whitby & Pickering Railway (W&PR) was a surprisingly early line, considering it linked two quite
small towns through sparsely populated country. However, Whitby was a prosperous seaport at the
time and actually raised 7% of the original share capital of the Stockton & Darlington.
The W&PR Act of Parliament had one clause allowing the use of locomotives and a subsequent one
prohibiting their use! The company settled on horse traction; Whitby to Grosmont, a relatively easy
run along the Esk valley, OP 8 Jun 1835. A short tunnel, adequate for horse drawn trains, took the
railway into the valley of the Murk Esk. Pickering to Goathland had a more challenging ascent (up to
1:48 in parts, needing two horses) of the Pickering Beck valley, carved out by two retreating glaciers so
was wider than one might expect. However, the line had to overcome a height difference of 350ft
between the two sections in the space of about three miles so a rope worked incline, about 1500yd
long and as steep as 1:11 at the bottom end, was the only possible solution.
Grosmont to Pickering OA 26 May 1836.In June 1845 the railway was taken over by the York & North
Midland Railway; York to Scarborough and Rillington Jn to Pickering OA 8 Jul 1845. They naturally
wished to introduce locomotive haulage. The original single-track Grosmont tunnel was of course too
small so a parallel full size double track tunnel OA 1 Jul 1847. The old tunnel became a pedestrian
access to cottages to the south. Locos were then used between Whitby and Beckhole, at the foot of
the incline (NZ821023); and between Pickering and the top of the incline (NZ828016).

[BLN 1266]
The incline became an operational hindrance and locomotives had become more powerful, so a
deviation (gradient 1:49) OA 1 Jul 1865 between, appropriately, 'Deviation Jn' and Moorgates, south
of Goathland. The line between Deviation Jn and Beckhole remained in situ after the new line
opened, but the incline and the line south of it were abandoned, although track at the south end was
not lifted until as late as 1941. The incline was relaid in 1872 to enable Manning Wardle to test
locomotives they were building for a rack-worked line in Brazil! Beckhole ROP in July 1908 when the
NER started a summer only service from Whitby, which lasted until the outbreak of WWI. A fortnightly
freight service survived from the north on part of the branch to serve the hamlet of Esk Valley
Dowson's Garth Siding (NZ822044) which did not have a road! A road was opened to serve the
cottages as late as 1 Oct 1951 when the residual freight branch closed.

1979] Kirkby Thore: (BLN 1260.1313) DB Cargo UK continues to operate trains from Hull Docks
carrying 1,600 tonnes of gypsum mined in Spain (not from power stations) to British Gypsum (New
Biggin) here, north of Appleby. There are plans to install bottom-discharge wagon unloading facilities.
One of the problems with Flue Gas Desulphurisation Gypsum from coal-fired power stations is that, if
it becomes wet, it is impossible to load (at Fiddlers Ferry it is stored in the open).

1980] Track Renewals: On 17 September, a four-year programme to renew the ECML track between
York and Doncaster was completed with a specialist 'Train Renewal System'. It is over a third of a mile
long, cost £40M and has renewed 250 miles of track at about half a mile per shift. Since 2012, the
length of track replaced is equivalent to King's Cross to Durham. The continuous process involves:

1. Unclip old sleeper fastenings and remove them with a magnetic drum for disposal.
2. Remove old rail from the sleeper housings.
3. Remove old sleepers; transport them to wagons using gantry cranes and pallet style containers.
4. Level ballast bed and move displaced material to side of track.
5. Place new sleepers on prepared ballast bed correctly spaced.
6. Positions new rail on new sleepers.

7. Fastens new rail to new sleepers.
8. Collect and distribute old ballast to the new track, for final geometry correction (tamping machine).

1981] Rotherham: (BLN 1261.1437) In Stage 'S2' of the Sheffield Tram Train project, from 3 Oct facing
single ended points were to be installed (OOU) in the Up Tinsley line at 5m 59ch, north of Rotherham
Central at the new Parkgate Jn, giving access to/from the single track to Parkgate tram stop. Just to
the south, in stage 'S3' from 10 Oct, a trailing crossover (speed restriction 25mph) was installed (OOU)
giving access from the new tram stop to the Down Tinsley line. All three points have raised check rails
so Class 33 locos with unmodified lifeguards, vehicles with wheel skates and independent full sized
snow ploughs (except when ploughing!) are prohibited between Parkgate Jn and Tinsley South Jn.

1982] Wakefield Westgate: The unidirectional station middle 'Down Doncaster' line was due to be
closed to all traffic from 2 to 9 October (175m 57ch to 175m 78ch) for correction of a twist fault due to
the condition of the longitudinal timbers; all Down traffic is to run via the Down Platform (P2) Loop.

1266 IRELAND
1983] Newbridge - Sallins: On Sat 1, 8 & 15 Oct single line working was to be available on the Down
line between the facing crossover at the former and trailing crossover at the latter.

1266 ISLE OF MAN
1984] Steam Railway: (MR p12) Recently there has been poor loco fleet availability, mainly due to
boiler problems. This has led to a revised timetable until the end of the 2016 season. There is one
return train over the full length of the line on a timetabled day with short runs between Douglas and
Castletown depending on factors such as if a dining train is running. Prospective visitors should check!

1266 SCOTLAND
1985] information Appeal (1): A member has tried
to trace the article (LEFT) about his grandfather using
the Britain Newspaper archive website but with no
success. Mr Munro was born in Aberdeenshire in
October 1866 and, as the article states, he worked
on the railway for 41 years until his premature
retirement as a driver at Dalry Road shed in
Edinburgh on grounds of ill-health. If not a
newspaper article, might it be from an LMS staff
publication? Any help in tracing the source and date
of publication would be appreciated. Clearly, it must
be after the formation of the LMS in 1923 and before
his death on Christmas Day 1935 at the age of 69.
Any information to the Editor please.
1986] (2): Muir of Ord TMD: On 7 Feb 1989 the
Inverness River Ness railway viaduct was washed
away; a new one was built and train services
recommenced on 14 May 1990. During this closure,
a passenger service was maintained north of Muir of
Ord. The former Barassie depot was dismantled and
moved to the station as a temporary facility to
maintain five Class 156 DMUs which were bought in
(in place of loco-hauled services working the Far
North line before the bridge collapsed). These were
half an hour quicker overall and the service was
improved to four round trips daily; the Kyle line
remained loco-hauled. If anyone can help with a
plan/track plan of the temporary TMD please
contact Paul Stewart (per back page)? BELOW: Muir
of Ord depot in 1990 looking south. (Richard Arden)

1987] Glasgow Cook Street: (BLN 1265.1885) The 08.57 (SuO) from Paisley Gilmour Street (08.23
ex-Gourock) is one of six services identified on Unusual Track https://goo.gl/atct2m booked to do this
move from the Gourock/Ayr lines via the chord to No4 line. It should, hopefully, happen every Sunday!

1266 WALES
1988] Maesteg: (BLN 1265.1897) Regarding the Editor's comment about heavy train usage to/ from
Ewenny Road, correspondents cite a couple of reasons: Firstly, its attractiveness (particularly to ASDA
shoppers) as effectively a 'free ride' across town, with the Guard not having time to issue tickets on so
short a journey. Secondly, passengers awaiting Up departures at Ewenny Road will often board the
Down train and ride via Maesteg, particularly during inclement weather. For those that do pay its
£1.90 single, £2.30 'anytime' day return before any Railcards, no off-peak fares. (Unlike other South
Wales valleys, the Down direction is northbound, originally via the Rhondda Tunnel and Treherbert!)

1989] Welsh Government plans: In its new 5-year plan, the Government has reaffirmed its
commitment to the South East Wales Metro and commits to 'the development of a North Wales Metro
system'. The plan reaffirms the commitment to a 'not-for-profit' 2018 Wales & Borders rail franchise.

1990] Trawsfynydd: (BLN 1265.1898). A Trawsfynydd & Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway Community
Interest Company has been set up with the intention of restoring the branch. NR is said to be 'pleased
to be working with the collective aim of regenerating the disused railway land', and has granted the
company license to undertake condition surveys and site clearance, beginning with an initial 275m
section. Previously trials in 2011 of pedal-powered 'velo-trains' came to nothing (BLN 1149.1202).

1991] Port Talbot: Welsh Government has agreed its £2.5M contribution to a £5.3M project to
improve the transport interchange, with the balance to come (hopefully before Brexit!) from European
Regional Development funding. A new canopy will cover the bus station and complement the railway
station, and there will be taxi and drop-off spaces, and provision for café facilities.

1992] Time Marches on: Like many main lines, wayside stations were mostly closed in the 1950s and
60s, but it is remarkable how many station buildings have survived between Shrewsbury and
Newport. Those still standing are Condover, Marsh Brook, Onibury (a particularly fine restoration),
Bromfield, Woofferton, Berrington & Eye, Ford Bridge, Dinmore (with nameboard), Moreton-on-
Lugg, St Devereux, Pontrilas (with BR 'totem'), Nantyderry and Caerleon. Even more remarkable
survivors are buildings of the original Church Stretton (relocated 1914) and Pontypool Road (1909)
stations. Tram Inn is identifiable from the eponymous signal box, while the site of Llanvihangel
appears in the Working Timetable under the soubriquet 'Abergavenny Sig 38'. With the interesting mix
of upper and lower quadrant semaphore signals, this all makes for a most interesting journey.

1993] Treferig: This freight-only Taff Vale branch closed in the 1930s, but Glanmychydd Viaduct pillars
survive, near Llantrisant Common Jn. An infilled bridge carries a local lane over the line close to
Treferig House, and the road entrance to Castellau siding is clear, with a stone and iron bridge crossing
Nant Mychydd stream. There is no road access to Glyn Colliery site, just a footpath from Tonyrefail.

1266 MINOR RAILWAYS
MR189] Severn Valley Railway, Shropshire (MR p7): The 'high season' timetable of three trains in
service requires use of the passing loops at Bewdley and Hampton Loade. A visit on Monday 22 August
found that the signaller for Hampton Loade had not appeared, resulting in delays of up to 45 minutes.
Although Arley box was quickly opened to provide an additional crossing place, and Hampton Loade
was available by lunchtime, delays continued for the rest of the day. Disappointingly, grubby exteriors
of all three rakes of coaches indicate their intensive use at this time of year, albeit the interiors were
nicely presented, and provide a great reminder of just how comfortable BR Mark 1 coaches were in
terms of legroom, seat springing, window spacing, table tops and even luggage space, when compared
to today's rolling stock! At Kidderminster the 7¼" gauge Coalyard Miniature Railway (MR p26, BLN
1184.MR86) was in operation, on demand, providing some light relief to those awaiting delayed SVR
trains. A beautiful scale Class 37 loco propelled two sit-astride coaches from 'Kidderminster Town High
Level' to 'Tuther-end Halt' (ignoring the intermediate 'Allans Halt') reversing there and hauling back.

BELOW: The Tanat Valley Light Railway. Class 107 DMU Sc52005/Sc52031 in the temporary
'Nantmawr' station during a rare running day. (Peter Scott 11 Sep 2016)

MR190] Tanat Valley Light Railway, Shropshire (MR p7) (BLN 1244.184): The railway ran Friday 9 to
Sunday 11 September in conjunction with Heritage events held in the Oswestry area. It is thought the
railway had last run during the same event in September 2015. Although it had been hoped to use the
new platform in the former quarry area (3m 58ch), it was not quite ready in time and trains departed
from the temporary platform (3m 43ch) near the road crossing. Trains ran to the previous limit of
operation at White Gates level crossing (3m 13ch). The track beyond to Llanddu Junction is overgrown.
Passenger trains ran hourly from 11.00 to 16.00 and the 13.00 sampled was well-filled. In use was
2-car green class 107 DMU Sc52005/Sc52031. The unit's centre car (Sc59791) was stabled in the new
quarry platform and was being used to serve refreshments. Unusually, all rides and refreshments were
free - although donations were welcomed! Another non-operational 2-car DMU was stabled in the
quarry run-round loop. It was hoped to open the new platform and operate more frequently in 2017.
The Rich Morris Monorail collection is now on site and it planned to lay a line in due course.

[BLN 1266]
ABOVE: 7th Series 1952/61. The double track Cambrian main line is right (top right towards Oswestry
and Whitchurch, bottom towards Welshpool). The modern heritage railway at Llynclys is south of the
B4396 overbridge shown and extends south 62 chains towards Pant. The single-track branch heading
west is the 16 mile long 'Tanat Valley Light Railway' branch line to Llangynog, later part of the
Cambrian and then GWR. The present Tanat Valley Light Railway heritage operation is on a limited part
of the Nantmawr branch from Blodwell Junction (lower middle left to top left of centre). Our BLS tour
on 1 Apr 2012 was much more extensive, reaching the junction and doing well at the quarry end....

MR191] Markeaton Park Light Railway, Derbyshire
(MR p14) (e-BLN 1265.X140): Sadly, this 15" gauge
railway https://youtu.be/l9TKU-xmBcA?t=246 has
closed with the last trains running on Sunday 18
September 2016. Within a few days the track had
been lifted from at least the main station, adjacent to
the shed. Running through Markeaton Park, in the
outskirts of Derby, the line opened on 14 April 1990 -
then 500yd in length. It was later extended to a length
of 1,300yd - the extension opening on 28 September
1996. The reason for the closure was given on the
railway's Facebook page as 'lease expiring January and
funding and other practical issues affecting both
parties involved' (Derby City Council and the owners).
The previous tenants who used to run it said that the
council would not repair the engine shed due to
budget cuts. Without the engine shed, they said it
could not operate. The Society enjoyed very friendly
and comprehensive visits on 4 Aug 2012 and 4 May
2013 (BLN 1185 p199). The 24 September 'Derby
Telegraph' reported that the city council is appealing
for people to run the railway and local businessman
Don Amott has said that he will spend his money to
help. LEFT: Track (rail) lifting at Markeaton station in
late September, the shed is on the right. (Kev Adlam)

MR192] Exmouth Express, Devon (MR p15) (BLN 1263.MR153): The railway was operating on Sunday
4 September - seemingly on its normal 15-minute frequency. However, only two of the green coaches
were in use with the third off the track by the tunnel. The 15.45 run of two circuits for two brass
tokens (50p each) had our reporter as the only passenger; a family of four joined for the next run.

BLN 1266.MR193] Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway, Greater London (BLN 1253.MR51)
MR p17): This 2ft gauge railway runs in a small site adjacent to the Kempton Steam Museum at
Hanworth. A member called in on Bank Holiday Sunday, 28 August as he had not visited before. The
loco in steam was their 0-4-0ST 'Darent' (AB 984/1903) hauling two coaches. The fare is £2.50 and the
trip comprised three circuits of their track known as 'The Hanworth Loop'. The train seemed to operate
on demand rather than to a timetable. There are two shipping containers used as loco sheds, each
with sidings leading to them, together with a siding to a roadway (to enable stock to be delivered)
from the outside of the loop, and an incomplete siding on the inside of the loop.

MR194] Waterworks Railway, Greater London (MR p17) (BLN 1041.MR64): Running around three
sides of the London Museum of Water & Steam - the former Kew Bridge Pumping Station - is this
2ft gauge railway. There is a simple and un-named one-platform station alongside Kew Bridge Road on
the southern boundary - close to the impressive Standpipe Tower. From here the line runs around the
west and north sides of the Museum to terminate at a two road steel shed near the main entrance and
below the pleasant garden area. On Sunday 4 September trains were running as required from about
11.00 to 16.00, with a break for lunch at 13.00. In use were 0-4-0ST (KS3118/1918) on loan from the
Vale of Rheidol Railway and 4wDM No2 Alister (L44052/1958), topping and tailing one covered coach.
Alister hauled the coach from the station to the shed (stopping with the loco inside the shed, but with
the coach at the doors); the steam loco then followed light engine. It then hauled the coach back to
the station with the diesel 'dead' at the rear. The home steam loco Thomas Wicksteed (HE3906/2009)
was being overhauled - some components visible outside the shed. Inside the shed were three skip
wagons. Admission was £12.50 (including Gift Aid) with train rides free. The railway runs at weekends
all year, plus half term school holidays. The Museum itself is well worth a good look around -
containing a number of steam, diesel and electric pumping engines. The impressive 90" Cornish Beam
Engine is steamed on generally the last weekend of each month. There is a small café on site.

[BLN 1266] ABOVE: Waterworks Railway, Kerr Stuart 'Wren' outside the shed at lunchtime;
taken from the Cornish Engine House. (Peter Scott 4 Sep 2016)

MR195] Newby Hall Railway, North Yorkshire (MR p21) (BLN 1220.MR189): This 10¼" gauge railway
runs in the grounds of the Newby Hall alongside the River Ure, near Ripon. A member visited on
12 August. Admission to the grounds is £10 (House extra), with a train ride at £2. Paper tickets on a roll
are issued. The line is a dumb-bell with Newby Hall station in the middle. The total ride is about
1½ miles. In use was 4w-4GH 'Countess de Grey' (Severn Lamb 24 of 1973) - with the whole train in
Grand Central livery. Also on site is Western outline 6-6wGM D1017 'Lady Mary Vyner' (Severn Lamb
1970). This is powered by a second hand engine dating from 1963. A fine scale model of LMSR 6100
'Royal Scot' is used on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Two train working is in operation at busy periods.

MR196] Fairbourne Miniature Railway, Gwynedd (MR p29) (BLN 1166.MR144): A pleasant sunny day
saw a visit to this 12¼" gauge railway on Saturday 10 September. Originally laid to a gauge of 2 foot
and more well-known as a 15" gauge railway, a third rail has been laid on some shed roads, part of
Fairbourne station area, and out to Meirion Road level crossing, allowing limited operation of visiting
15" gauge locomotives. It is intended to extend the 15" gauge rail in due course. The 11.10 Fairbourne
to Barmouth Ferry and 11.40 return were hauled by 2-6-2T L&BR 759 Yeo (David Curwen 1978) with six
coaches - a mix of open and enclosed examples. An adult return was £9.50. A short ground level
5"/7¼" gauge line has been laid at Barmouth Ferry. It consists of a simple end to end track some 40yd
(forty!) in length with a spur for loco loading/unloading. There is no platform and photos and film seen
of its only use known so far (during the May gala) shows only locos moving about without any
passenger vehicles. Fairbourne is to be abandoned to the sea in due course, with all residents having
to move out by 2040. So presumably, eventually, the railway will close!

MR197] Steam Train Express, County Meath (MR p27) (BLN 1243.MR179): This 2ft gauge railway
operates inside Tayto Park at Kilbrew, near Ashbourne. A visit was made on 15 August. The admission
price of €15 was paid to gain entrance into the park, which entailed a 30-minute wait. The park was
extremely busy and the Steam Train Express was running constantly from 09.30 to 19.00; a 10-minute
wait was required to board the train. The line operates in the Eagle's Nest Adventure Zone area of the
park and is a circuit of 490 yards, running around landscaped gardens with tight bends and very little
chance to get pictures.

In use was steam outline 4-4-0+4w-4wDH loco with tender, built by Severn Lamb (15982/2015). It is in
a black livery with the legend TAYTO PARK on cabside and tender. The railway is included in the
admission price. Also operating was a new monorail - Mr Tayto's Pony Ride (€3 extra) - and a new Land
Train that passed the bottom of The Cu Chulainn Coaster on a private road. Recently delivered by
Tschu Tschu from Germany with two coaches, it ran every 15 minutes.

ABOVE: Tayto Park - Not an easy line to photograph! This is the station. (Rod Bryant 15 Aug 16)
BLN 1266.MR198] Lullymore Heritage Railway, County Kildare: This new 3ft gauge railway opened on
Saturday 30 July (Irish Bank Holiday Saturday) and is located inside Lullymore Heritage and Discovery
Park at Lullymore near Rathangan. The line is formed of a simple circuit of 1,160 yards in length with
one station, one road shed and a siding. A member visited on 19 August. The railway runs around a
former cutaway bog that has been left to return to nature. 4wDM LM 85 (RH329693/1952) in green
livery, and fully refurbished with air brakes, hauls one ex-Clonmacnoise coach around the circuit in a
clockwise direction. The train stops on the circuit for a peat cutting demonstration. An additional fare
of €5 is payable over the normal park admission fee. LM 139 (RH392137/1955) was spare in the shed.
Also on site was the Lullymore Land Train, which operates every 30 minutes and runs around a
purpose built roadway (it was once in use on the Isle of Wight as the Shanklin Steamer!).

ABOVE: Lullymore Heritage Railway; 4w diesel LM85 in the station with the ex-Clonmacnoise coach.
(Rod Bryant 19 Aug 2016)

MR199] Lisselan Golf Club, Lisselan Estate, County Cork: On 19 August, a visit was made to ride on the
two private funicular railways on the Golf Course at Lisselan Estate, off the N71. All the golfers and
staff gave a very friendly welcome. The first funicular runs from the roadway to Tee No1 and is 5' 3"
gauge, 243ft long and is operated by the passengers by use of a button at the station with a 5 second
delay. The user is asked to kindly send the car back down as not to hold the game up! The upper
funicular is located at Tee No4 and is 5' 3" gauge and 135ft in length. The (track!) chairs were noted to
be from the Great Northern Railway! The two funicular railways are in constant use 7 days a week - all
the time the course is open. The cars hold six people seated; the golf equipment is transported outside
the cars. BELOW: Lisslan Golf Club Funiculars. (Press Release)

[BLN 1266]
MR200] Vale of Berkeley Railway Group, Gloucestershire: (BLN 1251.389) Members of the group have
begun working on digging out the foundations of the former Berkeley station building, closed in 1964
and demolished in 1984. Tim Cambray, the group's buildings expert, is leading a team to try to find the
foundations. Work started in early September and good progress has already been made. A team
hopes to be on site every Wednesday until they have uncovered the whole outline of the building,
which is currently buried under about 18 inches of waste soil and rubble. Tim said: At the moment we
really don't know quite what we have discovered. We have found brick courses of walls, some floors
and one of the toilets next to the waiting room but it will take us a while before we have uncovered
enough to know for sure. Anyone who has watched Timeteam will recognise the way we are
approaching it. And, of course, the more help we have in digging through the soil and tree roots, the
sooner we will know the size and layout and this will help us plan out the rebuilding project. Uncovering
the footprint of the station building is the first step in establishing the station so that plans can be
drawn up for its eventual rebuilding exactly as it was before closure, ready for trains to call once again.

MR201] Newport Transporter Bridge, South Wales: Not actually a railway of course, but the gondola
(which can carry up to six average-sized cars) is hauled across the 197m span on 60 guided wheels! A
visit on Sunday 29 August found the Motor House open to the public, containing what appears to be a
mix of tramcar and coalmine technology. The gondola is hauled by a single continuous rope winding on
and off a drum, powered by two 35hp DC motors via a tramcar-style controller. There was also the
facility for the strong (and fearless) to mount the stairs and walk across the high-level boom, 54m
above high water. Although busy on the day, and still operated by Newport City Council, the bridge is
nowadays really more of a heritage attraction than a real transport service, and is only available
Wednesdays to Sundays (and Bank Holidays), between March and September, 10.00 to 17.00.

Please mention the BLS when booking or enquiring.……..1266 CONNECTIONS……….Details must be checked with the organisers.

1994] Property Section, Loth Stationmaster's House: BELOW from agent's details. A wayside Victorian
station that has retained its character. As you will immediately know, on the east coast of Sutherland
between Helmsdale and Brora, 10 minutes to the beach https://goo.gl/wbVJNI OP 1 Nov 1870; CP 13
Jun 1960. Magnificent scenery, eight trains pass daily SuX (two). Includes a ticket office and waiting
room built in the 1930s. Two first floor beds, ground floor kitchen, bathroom, utility and sitting room.
Nearly two acres with a workshop, outbuildings and a (filled in) former siding. Interesting pictures
https://goo.gl/X99IPK Offers over £150K. Contact [email protected] 01408 622098
or 07757 674896.

1995] Mountsorrel branch, Sat 22 & Sun 23 Oct: (BLN 1245.MR192) Bond Lane station (LE12 7AA)
(SK147572) DMU trips 10.40, 11.20, 12.00. 13.10, 13.50, 14.30 & 15.25 (last round trip) to 'Swithland',
Mountsorrel No1 GF, calling at Nunckley Hill. Pictures https://goo.gl/jGxnuC and a video. Book online
https://goo.gl/m0L9X8 or cash on the day; £5 adult/£3 child or £7 adult/£5 child for 'all day ticket'.

1996] Swanage Railway, Tue 25 - Thu 27 Oct: See 'Green' timetable https://goo.gl/bWeYfY the DMU
workings will be extended to/from Bridge 4 (no alighting) for staff route knowledge retention and to
provide a further opportunity for members of the public to travel on the Worgret extension.

ABOVE: The former Loth station which is for sale (item 1994 above).

1997] RPSI, Castlerock Semaphore Finale, Sun 30 Oct: Steam with No85 Whitehead 10.00/18.47
(excursion platform), mainline connection available; a short walk from the NIR station; Carrickfergus
10.16/18.31, Belfast Central 11.30/17.15 to Castlerock 13.25/14.18 then Coleraine 14.35/15.40. A one-
off traditional style railtour; a final opportunity to run to and terminate a train at Castlerock. The line
temporarily closes from 2 Nov for resignalling when Castlerock ceases to be a signalling block post. The
signal cabin, passing loop and traditional mechanically operated somersault signals will close - the end
of NIR's last full-time manned traditional signalling block post system, with traditional tablet working
on the Coleraine to Londonderry line. The Down platform track and points will be removed; the station
becomes a single through line using the Up platform with electric signals. During the stop the 13.33 ex-
Londonderry passes at 14.07. Adult £25; Child £15. Book https://goo.gl/kl1dOX or 44 28 9024 6609.

1998] FTPE Souvenirs: Anyone who only takes paper BLN who might be interested in buying FTPE
station signs or other memorabilia, please contact the Editor. They are available due to the
franchise change to TPE from 1 April. E-BLN 1265.X.139 had a list; all proceeds to Railway Children

1999] SWT Advance Tickets, 14 Oct - 11 Dec: 200+ destinations, £14.95 adult, £5 child single off-peak
https://goo.gl/MHXa1k (book day before or earlier); no railcard discounts, not west of Yeovil junction.

2000] Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, 5 & 6 Nov: 'End of Season Parade and Light Railway Get
Together'. All operational mainline locos out, parallel running 'Romney Race' - two trains run alongside
each other New Romney to Hythe (8½ miles). Hythe to Hythe 27 mile non-stop runs, double-headed,
via the rare Dungeness loop. Extra long multi-headed train (load 20 in 2016). Keep an eye on website.



[BLN 1266]
X.157]: Guess the location: (BLN 1265.X.152) ABOVE:
Panteg & Coedygrig Jn looking north; this used to be a
complicated area north of Panteg & Griffithstown
station. The loaded coal train is coming off the
Hafodyrynys branch. Coal winding ceased in 1977 but,
like many locations in South Wales, it was also a
stocking and blending site. This meant identical
looking trains of coal going in and coming out! Just
before it CA in Apr 1979 for a road 'improvement'
scheme, trains were running intensively seven days a
week. The track to the immediate right of the coal
train is the Blaenavon colliery 'Big Pit' branch (taken
OOU 3 May 1980) part of which is now the Pontypool
& Blaenavon Railway, by then down to one short
train of domestic coal two or three days a week. To
the right is the link to Pontypool Road station (now
Pontypool & New Inn); there used to be large yards
here. There was still a link then from the few
remaining sidings south to British Steel Corporation's
Panteg Works (special stainless steel). The coal train is
about to run south along the 'Lantarnam Loop' (also
taken OOU 3 May 1980) to Lantarnam Jn to join the
main line towards Newport south of the present day
Cwmbran station. (Ian Mortimer). LEFT: 7th Series
1953/61 map (not how the lines were at closure). The
Hafodyrynys branch is top left heading west; above it
is the Blaenavon branch, top right is the existing line
to Abergavenny, Llantarnam Jn is south off the map.

[BLN 1266]
2001] Bedford - Bletchley - Sat 19 Nov: Bedford to Bletchley Rail Users' Association, 170th anniversary
of the line opening (17 Nov 1846) and it has now been 42 years since it nearly closed. Bedford 08.45/
20.34 most stations to Bletchley and Milton Keynes to Kidderminster; walk to SVR for optional trip to
Bridgnorth. So if you have always fancied a cheap trip on the West Coast Main Line by Class 150
DMU… £18 adult, £9 child (SVR add £15/£10) Booking form https://goo.gl/PR3DWt or 01234351771.

2002] Eastleigh Signalling Centre visit, Sat 26 Nov 10.00 & 11.00: (BLN 1265.1909) In two or more
groups; 11.00 is an estimate for the second group. High-visibility vests may be required and a charity
donation applies. Enquires by 14 Oct [email protected] quote BLS membership number.

2003] Croydon Tramlink Tour, Sun 25 Feb, London Transport Museum Friends: £22 Date for your
diary (cannot yet be booked). Wimbledon 11.00 lasting four hours with the usual depot visit featuring
a Bombardier Swift set. Watch https://goo.gl/LoSPwm 020 7565 7296; these trips book quickly!

2004] Free to a good home…. Member Peter Smith has 11 binders (each holds 12 months (24) A5 size
BLNs) to dispose of. All are in good condition and available to any member who is able to collect them
(Stechford, Birmingham, B33 8QX). Email Peter at: [email protected] or 0121-783 2038

X.158] Book your place to see this: Https://goo.gl/5i26k2 perfect for transporting bookworms (this
video clip takes a while to load, click the screen, and there is a short advert first).

X.159] STOP PRESS: Southend Pier Railway, North Station - South Station (both incl): (MR p17) 3ft
gauge, 2,180yds long; ROP 12.00 Wed 5 Oct 2016 after TCP from 10 Jun 2016 for replacement of
cracked pile caps, mostly on the eastern side where the railway runs. Note that the long-term future of
the railway is not certain. Options are being considered for a new system to replace the current
railway https://goo.gl/ITW3wA - although a rail based option remains a possibility.

2005] DO YOU SUBSCRIBE TO BRANCH LINE NEWS? It has come to attention that BLN

is being passed on to non-members to read…! If you are one of these and would like your own copy
this can cost as little as £12 per year for the electronic version. Contact our Membership Secretary
Alan Welsh, 22 Treemount Close, Grove Ave, Epsom, KT17 4DU, [email protected] or
01372 728677. We are a very friendly expanding Society and benefits of membership include:
 Your own copy of BLN immediately on release 24 editions each year.
 An annual copy of Passenger Services Over Unusual lines compiled by Richard Maund.
 An annual copy of the 'Minor Railways' list compiled by Peter Scott.
 Valuable discounts on Branch Line Society railtours and fixtures.
 Priority in bookings fixtures and railtours with access to 'members only' events and fixtures.

Paper BLN Distribution: Dave Monger, 6 Underhill Close, GODALMING, GU7 1NU. [email protected] 07592 585230.
Fixtures Secretary: Kev Adlam, 53 Kemble Close, Wistaston, CREWE CW2 6XN. [email protected] Twitter: @BLSGeneralSec
SALES: Mark Gomm, 84 Mornington Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT, ST1 6EL. [email protected] 01782 769960 (daytime).

NEWS TEAM: Wales: Paul Jeffries, 54 Heol Erwin, CARDIFF, CF14 6QR. [email protected]
Branch Line Email Service: Nick Garnham, [email protected] Subscribe: [email protected]
South East England, East Anglia & Ireland: Julian James, 58 Nelson Road, WORTHING, BN12 6EN. [email protected]
London: Geoff Brockett, 155 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, LONDON, E18 1NA. [email protected]
West Midlands: Brian Schindler, 15 Sudeley, Dosthill, TAMWORTH, B77 1JR. [email protected]

East Midlands: John Cameron, 10 Friar Gate Court, Friar Gate, Derby, DE1 1HE. [email protected]

South West: Mike Newman, 19 Plover Close, Worle, WESTON-Super-MARE, BS22 8XB. [email protected]
North East England: Geoff Blyth, 26 Trafalgar Way, Queens Park, BILLERICAY, CM12 0UT. [email protected]
Scotland: Mike McCabe, Lawrenceholme Barn, Oulton, WIGTON, CA7 0PH. NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: [email protected]
North West, Yorkshire, Humberside, & IOM: Graeme Jolley, 3 Laurel Cottages, Rencell Hill, LAXEY, IOM, IM4 7BJ. [email protected]
Minor Railways (British Isles): Peter Scott, 93 Josephine Court, Southcote Rd, READING, RG30 2DQ. [email protected]
E-BLN (Distribution problems and BLN Pictorial): Dave Cromarty, [email protected]
Editor/Head Lines: Paul Stewart, 4 Clarence Close, MALVERN, WR14 3HX [email protected] 01684562862 07790652351.

Printed by Deva Enterprises, Waters Edge, The Drive, Ifold, LOXWOOD, West Sussex, RH14 0TD 01403 752735 [email protected] or
[email protected] Published by the Branch Line Society, 10 Sandringham Rd, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL, BS34 8NP. ISSN 1354-0947.


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